2020 has changed how we operate. Work, education, shopping and even traveling have been impacted by Covid-19 and what we were once used to is no longer. Whether this is temporary or long term, this new way of life has forced all of us to “pivot” (the word of the year it seems). When it comes to traveling, exploring a big new city filled with people has been replaced with folks flocking to outdoor destinations that offer smaller populations and the ability to spread out outside. In places like Lake Tahoe, we have a tourism driven economy which means we rely on visitors. While we welcome guests, there are some things to keep in mind so that both visitors and locals feel safe. Here are some tips.
1.) Treat your Lake Tahoe vacation rental like it’s your own. When people used to travel, they were limited to hotels, campgrounds, RV parks and resorts. All of which are great, however, they don’t always accommodate large groups, have the amenities of a home and can be costly when you add up eating out for every meal, tipping every hotel employee or all the surprise added fees and costs of traveling. So many travelers forget that just because they are on vacation, doesn’t mean everyone else around them is. If you booked a vacation rental in Lake Tahoe, chances are the people who live next door are locals who have kids that need to get to school and work to wake up for. This means, pick up your trash, don’t block access points with extra vehicles, keep the volume down and don’t have a rager in the hot tub until 5 am. We now have a vacation rental ordinance in place and not only can vacationers get a fine for not being mindful of their neighbors, so can the home owner who owns the Lake Tahoe vacation rental.
2.) Do your homework beyond yelping the best restaurants and what the most popular landmarks are. Nature filled destinations do not have the same rules as cities. There are government organizations that protect the local land. Some places need reservations or day passes. There may be a ban on certain types of fire and not others. In the city, when you leave out trash you may get a brief encounter with a rodent. In the mountains, you can invite a bear, raccoon or coyote to leave a trail throughout the neighborhood and possibly your house. Sometimes U.S. Forest Land could be closed down due to fire threat in the summer or fall while in the winter you may be held on Echo Summit due to avalanche control. Also, in the winter, there are rules about parking on city streets. Did you know if you are parked on the street and there is a blizzard and snow removal hits your car-they are not liable? There are a lot of details to know that if you don’t, your vacation could become WAY more expensive than planned.
3.) Pretend you are a local. Not for the sake of being dishonest, but for the purpose of making your trip a good experience for everyone! Take advice from locals on what to do and what not to do. A lot of us have come from other areas and definitely had to adapt to the learning curve that comes with mountain life. This applies to traffic, trash, fire smarts, being mindful of our neighbors and being prepared for all kinds of weather so that everyone can get to where they need to go safely. Be polite to service industry workers and be patient in local businesses. These are smaller, locally owned businesses who usually do not have the budget to employ a lot of people to help every single person when they need it so no one has to experience a wait. Also, try to shop local as much as possible when you are staying at a Lake Tahoe vacation rental.
4.) Don’t forget that Covid-19 is still here and presents a very real threat to our smaller infrastructure. Our hospital is small and doesn’t have a lot beds. A positive test could shut down an entire business for two weeks. Virus vigilance must remain high and while a break from this 8 month long affair is desired by everyone, play nicely so that everyone stays safe. If you are feeling sick, reschedule. Lake Tahoe will still be here. Even if you are perfectly healthy, wear your mask, wash your hands and observe social distancing for yourself and everyone around you whether you know them or not.
5.) Don’t risk your life for social media purposes. Not a skilled hiker or outdoorsman? Stay away from the ledge while trying to snap that selfie. Don’t get too close to wildlife (we know, the bears and chipmunks are cute) and don’t hold up a busy trail so you can get the perfect shot.
For more information on what to know about your trip to the area, give us a call when you are booking your vacation rental in Lake Tahoe. We want everyone to have a good experience and are more than happy to help!