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AirBnb; Alysaa Powell/Business Insider
- As travel resumes following the novel coronavirus, many are looking for safe vacations that are close to home and prioritize the great outdoors for optimal social distancing.
- Colorado counts over 24 million forested acres of land and is home to national park hikes, incredible skiing, wine tasting, and hot springs.
- We searched for the best Colorado vacation rentals, which experts say are preferable because they remove interactions with others, and chose ski-in/out condos, rustic cabins, and mountain homes ranging in price from $61 to $350.
- We detailed each home’s COVID-19 policies, but be sure to check before booking to ensure you’re comfortable with their cleaning protocols.
- Read more: Which is safer: Airbnb or hotels? Here’s what doctors say
If you’re feeling the itch to travel, wide-open spaces make it easy to practice social distancing while spending time outdoors, so, look for destinations with more trees than people.
In my opinion, there’s no better place for that than in Colorado. I’ve spent plenty of time skiing at Breckenridge and Monarch, rock climbing in Rifle Canyon, and hiking more than a few trails across the state’s multiple mountain ranges. Thanks to an emphasis on outdoor recreation and nature, it’s easy to find space for one’s self.
World-famous ski resorts like Vail, Aspen, and Breckenridge may be the most well-known draws, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the year is mere downtime. The same peaks that make for fantastic skiing offer some of the best hiking and mountain biking in the US, plus just about any other sport you can imagine. Whether you like to fly fish, horseback ride, whitewater kayak, geocache, or bird watch, you’ll find a place to do it in Colorado.
And while Rocky Mountain National Park is Colorado’s primary summer destination (after all, it does have 4.6 million visitors a year), for a more socially distanced getaway, consider a vacation rental near the San Juan Mountains or the Never Summer Range, which see far fewer crowds. Or, skip the mountains altogether and stay at lower elevations in Colorado’s wine country, near Grand Junction.
If you’re wondering if travel is safe, experts consider private vacation homes, such as those on Airbnb, as one of the safer places to stay, especially when compared to hotels. This is because you are often booking an entire home protected from interaction with others.
Airbnb also announced rigorous new procedures including the Enhanced Cleaning Protocol, which includes guidelines on waiting periods between guests, personal protective equipment for hosts or cleaners, as well as only using disinfectants approved by regulatory authorities.
Of course, without a vaccine, there is no firm guarantee with regard to safety. It’s crucial to follow guidelines and advice from organizations such as the CDC and WHO, and practice safety measures including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining social distancing. Additionally, consider your own level of risk, and whether you’re traveling from or to a hotspot, so as not to increase the rate of infection.
However, for a getaway steeped in fresh air and greenery, these Colorado vacation rentals on Airbnb and Vrbo are located near mountains, lakes, and national parks, and meet the following criteria:
- The vacation rental is for the entire home, rather than a room in a shared home.
- All properties are highly-rated listings located either in nature away from neighbors, or in towns with mask mandates and mainly outdoor activities (skiing, hiking, etc.).
- Properties range from small, modern condos to roomy cabins with space for a large family and are priced between $61 and $350 to start.
- All vacation rentals provide information or will make information available about their COVID-19-related cleaning policies and the extra steps they’re taking to keep guests safe.
Before renting, it’s also wise to message the owner or property manager if you have any questions about health and safety. Also note that cleaning and service fees vary widely from one home to another, especially post-pandemic, and many homes are also enacting minimum night stays and strict cancellation policies.