Still Traveling During a Pandemic

We’ve been lucky to be slightly ahead of the pandemic as it continues spread and spiral out of control. By continuing to move in our fifth wheel, we’ve been able to leave behind the COVID hot-bed states and transition into areas that are less impacted. Here’s how we are safely traveling and living full time on the road during the Corona pandemic.

When planning to get back on the road after stay at home orders were lifted, we knew our original route was going to change. We would stick to towns and smaller cities, go up through the mountains, and not up the coast. We chose to stay in private campgrounds versus state parks as to avoid dealing with closures and cancellations. Booking private campgrounds has been a cinch. We have had no availability issues nor any cancellations and so far, we have safely and successfully lived in five states during the pandemic.

We are still traveling and being cautious. We have been taking it slow through states. We stay at most campgrounds a minimum of a week, sometimes two. We continue to isolate ourselves and while we are friendly, talking with fellow campers, we keep our distance and never sit at their campsite. We do not break bread or partake in happy hours with others. It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s just safer this way.

The only public facilities we use at a campground is the laundry and generally fold our clothes back at the rig. If the pool is too busy, we just don’t go. We are always packing hand sanitizer and our masks, and use them whenever entering the campground office or store. When we go out to explore, we mask up. Even when outside on a hike we mask up as we encounter others on the trail. We wear our masks for the safety of all.

We have, and will continue, to stick to outside activities and have avoided things like museums. It’s unfortunate because we’ve missed a lot of great ones along the way. On the bright side most museums have been closed and we have done some pretty-cool outdoor adventures that we may not have done otherwise. I know JC has probably seen more mountain hikes than he cares to at this point.

When we need to get out of the RV, we tour nearby towns catching what we can from the truck. Our self-guided exploring has led us down some of the most scenic country roads to magical waterfalls and treasured, covered bridges. We use Google Maps and search for what’s near me.

Traveling in and out of states has been relatively easy. No road checkpoints, no denials of entrance at campgrounds. Only recently, and we suspect because COVID case numbers continue to rise, did we encounter the need to take further action with a state when traveling through. Once settled into our campground in the Finger Lakes region of New York, we were watching the local news and heard Governor Cuomo had just issued an order requiring travelers coming into the state to complete a form or face a stiff monetary penalty. CYA: We found the form online and submitted in less than 5 minutes. Easy enough.

Most recently, coming from the Finger Lakes to Lake Ontario we were questioned at the campground gate. This is a first. Again in New York and because we have Florida plates and Florida is currently a COVID high-risk state, we needed to provide proof of where we were coming from. New York is now requiring any travelers coming from a red zone state must conduct a 14-day self-quarantine. Again, being ahead of this thing has helped us. Also, taking it slow with longer stays in each place enabled us to provide proof we had already spent a significant time in safe states like Pennsylvania and before that, Virginia. Fortunately we are at our Lake Ontario campground for 14-days anyways, giving us plenty of time to quarantine and relax. Lake Me Away

If the country shuts down again, we’ll just have to stop and stay just like we did in Georgia with the initial stay at home. We are hopeful that this will not happen and things will get back to normal. Until then, we are playing it safe and taking our time.

If you are still on the fence about full time traveling or camping in general during these strange times, let us reassure that it can be done. And safely. Be smart about it. Keep your camp groups small. Plan your trip and pack your essentials. Get outside and back to nature.

For additional camping tips and etiquette, see our previous post.

Cheers! And happy camping!

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