Worried About Social Distancing When Traveling? Many travelers are finding social distancing is easy in an RV.
Although Recreational vehicles were gaining in popularity before the pandemic, the pandemic has forced people to look at a different way to safely travel. When you rent an RV, you are getting a rental car, hotel, and more direct access to where you want to go. Or if you already own a RV, you have your own safe space with you. Yes, you will have to stop to get fuel, but you can pay at the pump, so you have not direct contact with others. After using the pump, wash and sanitize your hands.
Now, with travel restrictions loosening, a surge of travelers is drawn to the RVlife. RV campgrounds & rental companies are reporting huge increases in summer bookings after the industry virtually shut down because of pandemic-related travel restrictions. Spontaneity and freedom are key attractions to travel by RV. But this summer, potentially with more vehicles on the road and Covid-related constraints in parks, some advance planning is required. Though many states still have COVID restrictions, Airstream saw retail sales climb 11 percent compared to last year. RVshare, a RV sharing site, said the number of days booked via its site has more than doubled year-to-date compared to last year. That is some encouragement for the anticipated surge of new RV travelers who are turning to these homes on wheels to travel safely and maintain social distancing.
Extreme social-distancing seekers may opt for boondocking, or camping without power and water hookups, which is often free in national forests or Bureau of Land Management areas. You can fill your freshwater tank at home but at some point, you will need to dump your tanks. Just like getting fuel, once you dumped your tanks at a facility, wash and sanitize your hands.
Many campgrounds & RV Resorts have taken the pandemic very seriously. Making online reservations or by phone has become more important than ever. When checking in, parks have taken a few different steps to keep everyone safe. No contact check-in. After making reservations either online or by phone, many parks are putting your packet of information outside the door for you to access. No contact with staff. If you have any questions, they have a phone number where to reach them. Plexi-glass windows. Plexi-glass windows or shields have also become quite common in campground offices. As you may have seen in grocery stores, the Plexi-glass is a type of divider from the staff vs customer. Such an easy way to keep everyone safe but still have contact with the campground staff.
When making your reservations, be sure to ask if the facilities have max capacity restrictions, altered times, limited use, or closed all together. As RV parks try to accommodate for pandemic safety, staff may not be in place to clean the facilities after each use. If you have a self-contained RV, this may not be an issue for you. But if you are camping in a RV without a restroom this may be a game changer for you. OR if you are planning your vacation with an idea of a swimming pool or hot tub, depending on the RV park they do not have it open. It is simply better to ask when making your reservations what is available instead of being disappointed upon arrival.
Ed and I, as full-time RVers, feel confident in the way we practice social distancing while RVing. As we travel, we stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm’s length) from other people in indoor spaces. Plus, we do wear our masks regardless of if it is a requirement to enter a business. While we are outdoors, we do practice social distancing but are not as concerned. We feel so much safer having our home with us. We do not have to use public restrooms or eat out.
Recently I had to take flight back to Iowa for a doctor’s appointment. I will have to say. I felt much safer traveling with our RV than being sandwiched between two individuals that I had no idea where they had been. Yes, we had to wear our masks BUT when you eat or drink or use the restroom you can possibly pass something onto another person. Step 1 to social distancing: rent an RV or enjoy your RV and get out there.