Raise your hand if Covid-19 affected your rambling lifestyle over the past year. While the open road has given us a welcome escape, the limitations that we face every day are constant reminders of the extra care we must take. So how are RV travelers across North America facing the road ahead for 2021?
We talked to some of our RVing bloggers about how they’ve weathered the Covid storm and where they plan to go in the near future. While our writing team has different perspectives, one constant remains the same: they haven’t let recent events put the brakes on their travel plans.
Finding an Escape Through RVing
My family’s travel outlook for 2021 can be summed up by the saying “let’s wait and see.” While I may not be plotting a cross-country road trip, I am looking forward to traveling in our RV.
I was thankful for the respite our travel trailer provided in 2020 — we were able to get out in the world, while still staying in our bubble. In addition to several local trips, we visited Rocky Mountain National Park without feeling like we put ourselves or others at greater risk. This was due to the low case numbers at home and at our destination, as well as the many extra precautions and restrictions.
Our local COVID-19 numbers are not looking good currently, but I am cautiously optimistic we will see improvements by summer. I am making reservations at destinations within an hour or two of home. We will be open to the fact that cancellations may have to happen. If things look good, we may plan something big at the last minute. Such is life while traveling during a pandemic.
Overall, our goal is to do our part to keep ourselves and our community safe while still experiencing the great outdoors, thanks to our RV.
Staying Safe on the Road
COVID definitely impacted my travel plans in 2020: I had to cancel trips to Costa Rica and Nashville. Looking ahead to 2021, I have purchased an Annual National Parks Pass and plan on checking off as many national parks as possible this year.
If I had to choose, I’d say the top five destinations on my list would be Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area and national parks including Mammoth Cave, Acadia, Badlands and Glacier. Toward the end of 2020, I sold my old Subaru Impreza and upgraded to a Toyota Tacoma in hopes of having all of my travel essentials and outdoor recreation gear onboard wherever I can drive in 2021.
I’ve also added road trip essentials like a solar shower, propane cooktop and collapsible washbasin to my truck-camping setup. I’m currently working on adding a rooftop tent to my truck to better support my road trip aspirations and to stay more self-contained in today’s travel climate.
Tucker Ballister is an outdoor guide by day and freelance writer by night.
The View from British Columbia
Recreational vehicle travel in Canada essentially slowed to a halt in September following a strained summer season. The traditional snowbird migration to the southern U.S. destinations hit a roadblock as the U.S./Canada border land crossing closed. Some tenacious owners choose to ship their RVs commercially to a U.S. town near the border and fly there to unite with it. From there, they were able to head down to their place in the southern sun as usual.
As the spring of 2021 approaches, the border-jumping snowbirds may face challenges in their return to Canada with the ongoing updates of international vaccine rules. But, in general, the new year hopefully will bring increased optimism as each day goes by. The RV lifestyle will surge this year as families throughout North America look to domestic travel to experience the beauty of nature and the freedom of the outdoors.
I, like many RV owners, am currently hard aground in our stick house in Canada, dreaming of the brighter months ahead. When the border opens, we will be headed down to Idaho to see the grandkids. Then Laughlin, Nevada, will be on our list, where Avi Casino Resort awaits with their all-you-can eat crab fest Friday dinner. We just can’t wait!
An old saying that claims, “There are 3 things you don’t miss until you don’t have them! Health, money and love.” Perhaps we might add “RV wintering in the sunny South!”
See you down there.
An avid snowbird from Canada, Peter Mercer writes about the full range of the RV experience.
Rising to New Challenges
I traveled throughout the East Coast in 2020 for business and it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. We’re currently living in a world where we don’t only worry about vehicle issues, getting lost, or what will happen once we reach our destination. Now we have to worry about hot spots, contact tracing, spikes, mandates, and regulations.
The virus has dramatically impacted the way I view travel. I think about things I never thought about before. I think about the cleanliness of places I’m visiting and whether or not the people around me are sick. I worry about having to cancel my plans because a destination state is experiencing a spike in cases.
These are strange times we’re living in and what was once an occasion rich with excitement, wonder, and intrigue is now riddled with uncertainty.
No matter what, there’s one thing that will always remain true to me. Nothing will stop me from making memories, creating opportunities, and cherishing the little moments in life. My travel plans for 2021 are the same ones I had for 2020. I’ll take it one day at a time and take whatever the world can throw at me with my chin up.
Coty Perry is a third-generation angler and occasional rock climber who loves playing soccer with his kids.
Making the Most of RVing
Packing up for new destinations always makes me feel like a kid on the night before Christmas. I haven’t felt that way as much lately. The pandemic caused our travel pace to slow to a crawl, but this lifestyle remains more appealing and educational than ever. This is how we plan on continuing to enjoy it.
If you examine life on a deeper level, you’ll see that clearly there are no guarantees about anything. From where the highway leads, to job security, unpredictability is the nature of being alive. Most people have a hard time with that truth, but experienced RVers are often the exception. We know that not everything goes as planned between Point A and Point B. RV adventures make us more comfortable with uncertainty. Travel teaches that many great campfire stories start with events that went awry.
As for my husband and me, our wheels will still turn through this pandemic. We will meander along the West Coast, mainly in Oregon and Washington. From Ashland to Canada’s border, we will get to know these places even better than we already do. Along the way, we’ll do everything to stay safe, while making the most of what this incredible lifestyle offers.
Rene Agredano is a full-time RVer and location-independent entrepreneur.