This article originally appeared on RVshare and was syndicated by Cheapism.
When people are used to getting out and exploring the world, restrictions on activities and travel can hit especially hard. Making new friends, going to museums and art galleries, trying new foods … a lot of the perks of RV road trips were curtailed during the pandemic.
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Depending on your risk tolerance, an RV road trip can be a good way to vacation that minimizes your exposure to other people. In an RV, you’ll be using your own bathroom, cooking and eating meals with just your group, and possibly even showering and doing laundry in your private space rather than having to use public facilities. As you plan your trip, consider these rules to further keep your exposure to a minimum and do your best to be a responsible traveler.
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Start by planning a trip to a local campground in your home state. For one thing, you likely already know any precautions and regulations that are in place in your state. You know what kinds of facilities are open and where to find stuff. If for some reason things begin to shut down again, it will be easier for you to head home when you’re not too far away.
Personally, my family found we have a great opportunity to see a lot of sights close to home that we hadn’t seen before because we were busy traveling farther away! Be a tourist in your own state and visit somewhere you’ve always been meaning to go but haven’t.
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If you do decide to venture beyond your state borders, make sure you know the regulations for where you’re visiting. Check on what will be open – you don’t want to rely on picking something up at a store or eating at a restaurant only to discover they’re still shut down. You also don’t want to plan on a fun day trip to a site or park if those places are closed.
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Many campgrounds and RV parks have started posting a COVID-19 warning or banner at the top of their websites. Be sure to read those and get helpful information on whether the campgrounds are open, whether certain facilities like pools or rec rooms have been closed, and any guidelines to follow. Check-in procedures may have changed or owners may require you to wear masks in certain areas of the park. Know before you go!
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Get as many supplies as possible before you leave home and try to consolidate your shopping trips when you’re on the road. You may want to plan more homecooked meals to avoid restaurants (and they could be closed anyway), and you may want more ingredients for easy meals like sandwiches or salads in case your RV can’t get through a drive-thru and the indoor area has been closed.
You can also pack more water to avoid buying bottled water, as many drinking fountains have been turned off as well. When you do go to the store, be aware that many require masks inside, and be sure to practice social distancing measures.
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If you rent an RV with RVshare, some motorhome owners will even set up the vehicle right at your campsite. This is an option to look into if you’re an inexperienced RVer who is nervous about setting up your RV, and it may also cut down on your exposure. RVshare also has a customer support line – if your trip has been impacted by COVID-19, contact RVshare, and talk to them about your problem. They have people on-hand 24/7 to help with any issues that arise regarding COVID-19 or anything else.
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You’ll want to follow an RV packing list as you’re preparing for your trip. However, you’ll want extra supplies for this unusual time as well. Bring along masks – at least one per person plus some extras. If you’re using disposable masks, you’ll want to bring a lot more, if you’re using cloth masks that can be washed you’ll want at least two per person. Also, bring hand sanitizer. Keep at least one or two inside your motorhome, and have some travel-sized hand sanitizer bottles to bring on outings you take during the day.
Also, pack disposable gloves – you can get a large box of gloves from stores like Home Depot. When you’re removing your gloves, be sure to do so without having your skin touch the contaminated glove surface. You’ll also want extra cleaning supplies including disinfectant wipes and sprays for surfaces that see a lot of traffic.
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This is a good idea for any trip, actually. Factors like road closures, weather, wildfires, and other unforeseen challenges can throw a wrench in the works of even the best-planned road trip. We’ve now added the possibility that campgrounds or dump sites could be closed so you’ll want to make sure you have several options in case your first plan doesn’t work out. You may also want to leave a little wiggle room – don’t plan on arriving at your campsite at 11pm, only to discover they had to shut down!
You can find some options for free camping here. The restaurants and stores on our free camping list are helpful if you just need a quick spot to stay while you’re on the road, but the boondock sites are a good suggestion if you want to camp and really limit your exposure. You won’t be checking in to a campground filled with people – you’ll be out completely on your own with very little interaction.
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First and foremost, before planning your trip, be sure to follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and your local health officials.
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