road trip?

road trip

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In the beginning of the summer we wrote about taking a road trip during the pandemic-here. Honestly, we thought that we, as a whole, would have this better contained by now and we’d be looking at a normal fall/winter holiday season. We don’t, it’s not going to be, so I thought I’d revisit the road trip. You have to be getting as stir crazy as the rest of us and hopping in the car and getting away might be what you need. Just do it responsibly and take the necessary precautions. Be careful.

With international travel way down and not even an option for many. Plus the fear of catching and or spreading the virus connected to travelling by bus, train, and plane keeps many away. There isn’t much possibility of social distancing on any of those. Add in the fact that cruises and other common scenarios or destinations aren’t possible or just less safe this year. Include lock downs, quarantines, and states restricting travel; put all of this together and we can see why traditional travel is way down.

why?

But you’re losing your mind. You need to get out. To get away. This is completely understandable. I spend at least one day a week in the woods around here getting away from it all. We need to clear our heads, it’s important for our mental well being. We need some type of adventure. So we decided to revisit the idea of a road trip it. We’ve managed a couple of quick, short weekend romps and from my experience the hotels and BnBs are doing an incredible job.

From my experience, which of course is not all encompassing. So renting/staying in a cabin, beach house, camp ground, RV, whatever you prefer is still an option. Just try to pick somewhere that will offer reasonable distancing. Now is the time to opt for that out of the way spot. The road less travelled. Time to reconnect with the significant other and disconnect from our devices. Enjoy some solitude- bring some whiskey and wine.

This is the perfect time to look into overlanding. Overlanding is car camping but more extreme, as far as your destination. Well maybe not necessarily, but generally so. Think self-reliant travel to more remote destinations, where the journey is really both the goal, the fun, and the excitement. Backpacking in your vehicle. Overlanding then is not about a quick weekend get away but something more substantive. Your camping is most likely going to be for an extended length of time. Weeks even a month- if you have the time and can plan it right- think a drive across country but not stopping at the campground. Remember this isn’t about a destination but the journey. Read our full article here.

car camping

Never heard of or thought of car camping? I had never really given it any thought because, to me, I was either “tent camping” with the kids or hiking out back. Meaning we were either at a campground or I was out on a trail. But recently I’ve begun to change my mind. I realized that with the right car, I could combine the comforts of the campground with the solitude of the backwoods. 

Car camping can really help your transition to or even expand your ability to “get away from it all”. Look it as a way to use your vehicle to get you to adventure in really out of the way and extraordinarily cool places. Cheaper than an Airbnb, beside a river you’re going to fish the next day, or at the trail-head you’re going to hike, convenient, comfortable, and an affordable base camp. Not to mention the added benefit of a cooler- better food, and more beer. 

Planning Your Road Trip

In order to get on the road and do this safely- preparation is key. Before you head anywhere, map out the roads you’ll be on and the states you’re driving through. Research any travel advisories on your route. Have there been changes to toll collection, rest-area hours, are there mandatory mask rules, are you traveling through or to a state that may require quarantine? Check regularly before leaving as things are changing daily.

Check state transportation department websites, these should have the latest information about state-specific coronavirus-related changes, along with links to other state resources such as traffic and weather advisories.

After mapping out your trip, get your supplies in order. Besides the normal essentials — bottled water, snacks, medications, pack products to keep you and your car clean and sanitized. Pack hand sanitizer, disinfecting wet wipes, disposable gloves, ziplock bags and tissues. Make sure you wash your hands. More than regularly! Not to attack your basic hygiene but over do it, this thing has turned me into a germaphobe. Handwashing is bordering on a compulsive behavior. Use disposable gloves and masks at all rest areas. In public restrooms, wear gloves, be careful not to touch the faucet or door handle after washing your hands.

roadtrippers

There are a number of apps that make road tripping easier, Roadtrippers is one I’ve used in the past for a number of reasons. The first being that they have a free version of the app. If you want more features you can upgrade to the paid version. With this app you can build your route from bottom up by entering your locations. Roadtrippers offers different search options along the way. Look for attractions, for sightseeing, scenic stops, camping, gas stations, entertainment, and food. Very helpful for planning not just the route but some stops along the way.

boondocking, bushwhacking

As I suggested earlier, this is a great time to get away from it all. Visit the more remote destinations and enjoy some of nature’s beauty. Unplug, bushwhack a bit. Get off the grid. I’ve been doing, at least the last three weeks, some hiking in the National Forests around here. We are fortunate to have two. The amount of great camp sites we’ve come across that we can just drive into- has been amazing. We’ve started taking notes for those we would use just as a couple and those we’d go with a larger group. I can’t stress enough- what resources do you have “locally”, state or federal that you could take advantage of.

Did you know that an annual National Park Pass is only $80!!! The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the country. A pass covers entrance, standard amenity fees and day use fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person).

Have you ever heard of FreeRoam? A free app that aggregates all public and BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land and shows you where you could stay for free- up to 14 days. If you’re looking to get away, car camping or overlanding- check this app out. Look at their site/resources here.

That’s what I have for now. Be careful! Have fun! Get out and see the world around you!

Almost forgot. Pack some books, magazines, reading and writing material-journal about your experience. Don’t “journal”, neither do I. I take detailed notes. Download some tunes, make sure you have plenty because hopefully you’ll have no signal. Get a solar charger and power bank. Again- have fun.

50 STATES, 5,000 IDEAS

Looking for road trips ideas? Planning a cross country trip? 50 STATES, 5,000 IDEAS: WHERE TO GO, WHEN TO GO, WHAT TO SEE, WHAT TO DO will help you to decide where to go. What to see. When to go. Make the most of your next family trip, get all the advice you need at your fingertips.

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