The world is a weird place right now in a lot of ways, but most folks would agree that nothing is throwing a wrench in their 2020 plans quite like COVID-19. Schools and work have gone virtual. Grocery shopping has turned into a delivery service and vacations have become road trips.

The summer road trip is officially this year’s go-to vacation, and with good reason. RV rentals are readily available, effectively putting your home on wheels so you can self-contain and still safely see all the incredible sights in the Lower-48. But before you hop in that driver’s seat, do yourself a favor and do a little research. 

Plan Ahead for National Parks

Beelining for Yellowstone? Make sure you check for any restrictions before you pull up to the entrance. 

Most of the national parks are currently open, but be aware that several are encouraging social distancing by limiting how many visitors are in the park at any given time. You may need to make reservations in advance. Not surprisingly, time slots fill quickly, so plan ahead and be prepared to snag your spot early. 

Assume Campgrounds and Amenities are Limited

In general, it is a good idea to assume that you will run into surprise closures along the way. Many state and national park campgrounds, as well as several privately owned RV parks, are closed due to COVID-19. Where open, you may instead find that amenities such as pools, laundromats, and even restrooms and showers, are not open for use. 

Especially if your trip has you crossing several state lines, you will find that pandemic-related mandates change as often as the zip code, and businesses and campgrounds are operating accordingly. Make your reservations over the phone and confirm that any amenities you need will be accessible. 

Pay Attention to City and State Mandates

Plan to bring your mask and some hand sanitizer, and keep your 6 foot social distance. If you do that, you will be just fine rolling through most of the USA. However, be mindful that states and cities have mandates and ordinances that are location-specific, so keep your eye out for special instructions each time you cross a city line. 

In general, you can expect to pull on a face mask before entering an indoor space, however, some towns require them indoors and outdoors while within the city limits. A few busier tourist hotspots ask that you use hand sanitizer before you walk into each store on the main street strip. You will likely find several main streets closed to traffic, allowing the street to be used as a sidewalk and giving visitors more room to space out. So as you’re parking your rig, keep that in mind too. 

Happy Trails to You 

If 2020 and COVID-19 haven’t collaborated to completely dash your dreams for a life-changing vacation, a road trip is a great option. There is plenty to do and see across the United States and with a little planning and mindfulness, you can safely enjoy a few days on the road. 

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