We are happy to provide another guest article by Leslie Campos. A busy mom herself, Leslie has dedicated her site Wellparents.com to all the moms and dads out there searching for ideas on being physically and emotionally well. She loves to practice yoga, CrossFit and watch The Great British Baking show when not working or running her children to various after school activities.
Socially-Distant RV Vacations:
Traveling While Staying Safe and Healthy
Feeling cooped up at home due to the pandemic? Then it may be time for a nice, freeing, feel-good vacation. Don’t worry – vacationing somewhere doesn’t necessarily make you more susceptible to the coronavirus. This is especially true since you’ll be using an RV, which is an island unto itself. Just focus on playing it smart and planning ahead and you’ll have no trouble staying safe and healthy.
In this mini-guide, We’re The Wilsons – experienced campers and RV enthusiasts – offer advice and suggestions on how to vacation in an RV without endangering yourself (or your family):
1. What would you like to do?
First, ask yourself what kind of vacation you want to have. Do you want to go on a road trip across the country, seeing a couple of interesting places along the way? Or would you like to go camping in nature for a couple of weeks, with zero sightseeing, and have a campground destination in mind already? If you know what you want, you can figure out the safety precautions you need to take, not to mention the route to follow for maximum safety.
2. Choose safe destinations
You should, of course, choose safe destinations. Safe destinations, when it comes to the coronavirus, are the ones with few-to-no coronavirus cases reported in the neighborhood. Furthermore, isolated places, away from people and near nature, are considered safer than towns, cities, and urban areas. Campgrounds, by nature, tend to be remote. Some, though, are more remote (isolated or less well-known) than others. Do your homework before you leave.
3. Make reservations in advance
While making reservations in advance is always a good idea, it’s especially so during corona times. The organizers may need to ensure campgrounds don’t get crowded, for safety reasons, and will likely not allow you entry otherwise. Also, by reserving in advance, you can rest easy knowing your trip won’t be in vain, not to mention you’re going to a well-managed and monitored destination.
4. Pack for maximum safety (and self-sufficiency)
You want to make sure you have the necessary sanitation and safety supplies on hand. Also, you likely want to minimize contact with shops and supply stores along the way. As such, proper planning is essential:
- Sanitation and safety stuff: Travel and Leisure offers a good list of safety and sanitation items. Some examples are masks, hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, mask chains, a thermometer, a smartphone sanitizer, and a travel pillow.
- Comfort: RVs can get cold, even the best-insulated ones. Get a space heater if you can. You can decorate it to make it feel like home. Good lighting can help preserve a congenial, healthy environment, as can scents.
- Travel essentials: You should always pack travel essentials like pillows, bedding, trash bags, coffee mugs, drinking glasses, and camping chairs.
- Self-sufficiency kit: You can go the extra mile, for maximum safety, by creating your own “self-sufficiency” kit. This would allow you to travel in a self-contained way, without having to stop anywhere you didn’t want to. Some items to pack would be a cooler, stove, water jug, filtration, bucket, power, and first aid kid.
5. Choose the right kind of RV
If you’ve never been on an RV trip before, then you should know your choice of RV is important. There are three main types of RVs: full-fledged Class A vehicles, middle-of-the-road Class B vehicles, and bare-bones Class C vehicles. Driving a Class A RV is a lot like having your very own palace on wheels. A Class C is more suitable if you aren’t with many people, and want to spend more time outdoors. Think about factors like who is going to drive, your camping habits, amenities wanted, and, of course, your budget.
6. Prepare for breakdowns
Your RV likely won’t break down, but things can and do go wrong. As such, make sure you know what to do in the event of a breakdown. If you have a rental, you can usually contact the company that rented you the vehicle for assistance and they’ll send someone over to help you out. If you’ve bought your own vehicle, you may want to join a roadside-assistance program. Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to learn how to do basic RV issues troubleshooting.
7. Consider your kids’ needs
Assuming you’re traveling with your children, it’s always a good idea to keep everyone’s needs and preferences in mind when you plan your RV vacation. Social distancing can be especially tough on them, for example. They may miss the human contact, and not understand why they need to stay away from other kids their age. Talk to them, reassure them, offer fun activities and games, and just be prepared to spend more time with them.
Socially-distant activities you can enjoy safely
You can make your trip more fun and wholesome through activities, whether at the campgrounds or along the way. You can partake in quite a few activities while still practicing social distancing and other basic safety guidelines. Some suggestions:
- Camping: If you aren’t “glamping” or staying full-time in your RV, you may enjoy camping outside. You can pitch a tent or just sleep out under the stars if the weather permits. A warm, comfy blanket is a must, regardless. Before purchasing one, consider its size and weight and if it’s waterproof. Blankets make for an essential adventuring accessory and can come in handy inside your RV too.
- Outdoor activities: You can go biking, hiking, swimming, boating, and more, whether individually or in a small group. It’s a great way to stay fit and do something exciting. You can also always play games like football or soccer.
- Nature attractions: Visiting nature attractions like parks, lakes, and nature preserves is a healthy, enjoyable activity for the whole family. Some example destinations are the Yosemite Natural Park and the Grand Canyon.
- Hobbies: Picking up a new hobby, whether alone or with your family, can help you fill up your spare time productively. Some examples are reading, learning something new, or developing a skill you always wanted.
- Virtual tours: You can still enjoy tourist attractions without visiting them in person by signing up for virtual tours. Many of them are free and almost as good as the real thing.
How to Stay Safe on your RV journey
Staying safe may require some extra precautions on your part.
The CDC regularly publishes domestic travel guidelines for COVID-19. It’s a good idea to refer to them before you go. Some of their current suggestions include getting vaccinated, testing before you go, wearing masks, and following local health regulations.
All basic Covid safety rules and best practices apply. Some examples are staying 6 feet away from others at all times, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly-ventilated spaces, washing your hands often, coughing in your hands or napkin, cleaning, disinfecting, and regularly monitoring your health.
As you may be aware, the coronavirus isn’t the only danger on an RV trip. There are countless other dangers you need to account and prepare for, just in case. Some examples are theft, accidents, vandalism, and natural disasters. Follow RV camping best practices and drive defensively to keep you and your family safe.
RV traveling is a wonderful way to travel and have a full-fledged vacation while staying away from the coronavirus madness. Focus on being self-sufficient, avoid crowds, and follow basic safety precautions and you’ll have no trouble being safe and healthy.
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