The current pandemic has radically changed everyday life in ways we could never have foreseen. Amid closures of schools and businesses around the globe, concerts and festivals have been cancelled, pro sports franchises have put games on hold, and travel plans of all kinds have been scuttled. We have never seen times like these before, and unfortunately, COVID-19 shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon — at least, not here in the US.
Understandably, though, people are starting to feel restless from staying at home, and they’re looking for ways to get out of the house while still keeping themselves and their families safe. Traveling by bus, train or plane might still feel like a risky proposition, even to those of us who would love nothing more than to get out and see the world. What’s a would-be wanderluster to do during times like these?
Fortunately, there is another way to travel. Enter the RV — a compact home on wheels that can be driven or hauled just about anywhere where there are roads. The Boston Globe and other news sources say that RV rentals and sales have gone through the roof since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s easy to see why: an RV offers a private living space that travels with you wherever you go. And best of all, you can set up camp wherever your adventures may take you — whether it’s a national park, a quaint little town you’re passing through or a vast expanse of open land — and have the great outdoors as your backyard.
So whether you’re a seasoned RV veteran or you’re thinking of renting one for the first time, here are six reasons why RVs are a great way to travel in the time of coronavirus.
- You can go out and explore new places while still “staying at home”.
Many RVs are designed with comfort in mind, and with amenities like a bathroom, shower, kitchenette and bed, you’ll have everything you need to “stay at home” a lot of the time if that’s what you’re most comfortable doing. But the whole setup is on wheels, so whenever you’re ready for a change of scenery, you can always pack up and go somewhere else.
2. You get to have your own private space.
An RV is your space — that means you make the rules. You get the final say on who (if anyone) gets to come inside, and you decide on the level of cleanliness you feel comfortable with. You can wipe and sanitize items inside your RV just as you would at home (just make sure to keep your camper stocked with cleaning products), and you don’t have to worry about sharing a bathroom with strangers. Sure, cleaning is a little bit of extra work (versus staying in a hotel with maid service), but for me at least, the peace of mind that comes with having my own space is so worth it.
3. There are a ton of places you can go.
If getting away from big cities and crowds is sounding a little extra appealing right now, you can escape to somewhere a lot less populated. We are from the Denver area, and we are currently doing a 10-day loop through Southwestern Colorado. Just yesterday we came from the desert outskirts of Cortez, near the Four Corners. Tomorrow, we’ll head north to the peach orchards and vineyards of Palisade, near Grand Junction, and we’ll stay there for a couple of nights before we return home. This is a fairly short trip by most people’s standards, but it does offer a taste of what time on the road is like. We’ve already got two or three ideas for longer trips that we want to do in different parts of the country.
Of course, wherever you go, it’s important to be mindful of any regulations they have in place regarding travelers from the outside — many states and countries aren’t allowing visitors in at the moment, so you’ll want to plan your trip accordingly. But there are still so many possible destinations that the real question will be where to go first!
4. Social distancing is a piece of cake.
When you’re RVing, most of the time, you’ll either be in your camper or outside somewhere. Either way, it’s easy to keep plenty of distance between yourself and others, especially when you’re out enjoying nature. Campgrounds and RV parks can get a bit crowded, but individual sites are typically a safe distance apart from one another.
5. You’ll spend more time outdoors.
Although they are fairly comfortable to live in, unless you splurge on a luxury motorhome, RVs are typically not huge — and especially if you’re traveling with other people, it can get a little cozy in there. Most likely, you will want to get outside more often than you normally do, if only to get some space (although you’ll probably also want to get out and enjoy the fabulous places you’ll be visiting!). Whether you’re out doing something active or just enjoying a bit of fresh air, simply being outside has many proven health benefits, and you’re also much less likely to catch a variety of bacterial and viral infections than when you’re inside.
6. You can even take your work with you.
While it can be wonderful to “unplug” while you are out traveling, if you prefer not to take time off — and if working remotely is an option for you — it’s easier than you might think to bring your work on the road so you can have the best of both worlds. Call it a work-cation, if you like.
My partner and I do this. I’m actually writing this article from inside our truck camper, an Eagle Cap model that sits in the back of his Ford F250. We are sitting across from each other at our dinette table, each of us working away on our laptops, listening to the sound of hummingbirds through our screen door and breathing the fresh mountain air in Ouray, Colorado. When you work from your RV, you end up working in some of the most beautiful and unusual settings, which can be really inspiring.
But, best of all, with the right setup, you can actually be quite productive. There are fewer distractions in a camper than there are at home, and if you bring the right gear (such as a WiFi hotspot), you can get decent phone and internet service in most places.
For these and so many other reasons, heading out on the road in an RV can be an incredible travel experience — it balances adventure and the thrill of seeing new places with the comfort and safety of having a personal “home space” to go back to at the end of the day. RV living can take some getting used to at first, but traveling this way has turned out to be surprisingly enjoyable, and more importantly, it feels safe even amid the ongoing public health crisis.
Have you taken an RV trip recently? Or have big plans to go on one soon? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!