Though road trips are a great minimal contact travel option, you’ll want to do a little planning to keep everyone safe. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you hit the road.
If you’re moving through multiple states, get familiar with the travel restrictions and potential checkpoints you may be required to pass through. AAA has an interactive map that shows state-by-state restrictions that may affect road trippers.
WELCOME CENTERS & REST STOPS
Rest stops are a great opportunity to stretch your legs and take a pit stop. However, many states may have closed their welcome centers and rest areas. Be sure to research which states have closed their facilities before you hit the road.
Wash your hands whenever possible. For times when you can’t wash with soap and water, pack extra hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes.
GROCERIES & DINING
Look into having groceries delivered before you arrive. You can reach out to your resort ahead of time to learn about policies and delivery locations. If you’re looking to eat out, consider making reservations to ensure you have a spot.
MASKS & SOCIAL DISTANCING
Many states now require face coverings in public, while others simply recommend it. Check before you arrive so you’re aware of destination-specific protocols.
DREAMY DESTINATIONS JUST A DRIVE AWAY
Vacationing may look a little different now, but future destinations are closer than you think. According to AAA, travelers are itching to get back on vacation and are already planning future trips, with many gravitating toward road-tripping this fall. Budget-friendly and a good alternative to avoid the crowds, the great American road trip is a perfect solution for those looking for a little R&R. Here are a few routes by region to get you started. For even more regional road trip inspiration, check out the fall issue of RCI Magazine on RCI.com/magazine.
Carolina Low Country
Between Savannah and Charleston is a treasure trove of lanes lined by ancient oaks, draped in Spanish moss, and the best barbecue and fresh seafood in the States. Start your day in historic Savannah and mark Charleston as your final stop.
Pro Tip: About 25 miles off of U.S. 17 is the small town of Bluffton, South Carolina. Take a break to stretch your legs and get a little shopping in.
Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania & Delaware
Best to be taken during the spring and fall, the Brandywine Valley gives road trippers a taste of American aristocracy. Winding through the heart of chateau country, the narrow and twisting roads that hug the river boast shady lanes and fields of wildflowers.
Pro Tip: There are plenty of local wineries and gardens along the way, so don’t miss out!
The North Shore, Minnesota
Start in Duluth and follow Lake Superior’s shoreline and the border of Canada to Grand Portage State Park to view Minnesota’s highest waterfall. Must-sees along the way include Gooseberry Falls State Park, Dockside Fish Market, and Devil’s Kettle Falls.
Pro Tip: Be sure to schedule in lots of time for kayaking and fishing — there are plenty of opportunities along this journey.
Route 89A, Arizona
Begin in Flagstaff and make your way to Sedona. Easily one of the most scenic paths in the United States, this 27-mile journey takes you through Oak Creek Canyon, a spectacular gorge with breathtaking views of streams and waterfalls hugged by sheer rock walls.
Pro Tip: Pull off at Slide Rock State Park and explore its 43-acre apple orchard.
Olympic Peninsula, Washington
Perfect for nature lovers and hikers alike. Start your journey in Seattle and make your way to the Olympic Peninsula to experience unbeatable views of the mountaintops. This road trip is packed with it all, from picturesque shorelines, waterfalls, and lakes to quaint logging towns and more. Be sure to pack your hiking gear.
Pro Tip: Take a photo break by Lake Crescent, one of the most beautiful lakes in the United States.
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