Hey guys. How are things going? These certainly are crazy times we are living through. As we have watched the news and read the latest reports, we have been mulling over the ways our family can respond responsibly while still being a blessing to our community. Doing things like sending cards to nursing homes, chalking our driveway with words of encouragement, sewing masks, or getting groceries for a vulnerable population are great places to start.
But I’ve also been mulling over how we RVers can use our coronavirus quarantine intentionally. I’ve seen some people having fun with driveway camping or finding other creative ways to use their RV during this time. Many of you are already into week two or three of social distancing and state lockdowns–and it’s been challenging for families from all walks of life. Hopefully a few of the following ideas will help make things a little easier.
RVing During Coronavirus Quarantine
One of the main concerns RVers have right now is whether they need to start canceling or rescheduling any upcoming spring and even summer camping trips. Many families in warmer climates have already had to cancel their plans because some states have closed their state park campgrounds and some private campgrounds have even closed. If the pandemic isn’t under control in the next few weeks, it’s possible that campgrounds in some regions will remain closed. This has created a dilemma for full-time RVers and Snowbirds, in particular, who have found it increasingly difficult to find overnight lodging as campgrounds closed along their route. A few people we know were thankful they could tap into Harvest Hosts and other off-the-beaten-path locations after campgrounds canceled their reservations. If you are a full-time RVer, you might want to read the Full-time Families’ article about how to navigate this virus crisis. Additionally, Campendium is tracking campground closures around the country and updating as new information comes available.
Depending on when your next camping trip is scheduled, you may want to hold off canceling your plans just yet. But now is a good time to review cancellation policies at the places you have reservations. Many sites will refund most or part of your reservation fee if you cancel within a certain window. (And given the unique circumstances surrounding this pandemic crisis, I have heard that many campgrounds are refunding the full amount.)
Our next trip is set for the middle of May. Although that’s still more than a month away, it’s conceivably in the window when states may still have restrictions in place, but it’s still way too early to cancel. For now we are taking a watch-and-see approach. But while we wait, there are a few things we can be doing now so we don’t waste our quarantine.
Trip Dreaming and Planning
Many of us are now home, either working remotely or, in more unfortunate situations, laid off. That means some of us will have some extra time on our hands, which presents the perfect opportunity to do trip dreaming and planning.
We are currently plotting out a 2021 trip out West to New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. As Jarrett has been compiling our itinerary, he has been using this book by Reader’s Digest because he loves driving scenic routes and exploring off the beaten path. Amazon also sells a variety of books highlighting noteworthy U.S. road trips. Normally we visit our local library for additional resources, but since that’s not an option right now, we are relying heavily on Pinterest! Over on our Pinterest page we are always pinning camping and touring ideas, and I have boards for each state, so if you are looking for some travel ideas, be sure to follow our Pinterest account. And because plotting and planning for a big road trip can be a bit daunting, we’ve tried to simplify the process through a step-by-step blog post that you can find here.
If you want more tips and tools to plan your next RV adventure, check out my new ebook, The Ultimate RV Trip Planner, available over on Amazon. (This is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through the link, we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)
In response to social distancing, state lockdowns, and quarantines, many destinations are now offering unique virtual experiences. From the comfort of your living room couch you can visit houses, explore museums, listen to opera performances, and even tour some of our country’s national parks.
Here are a couple places to start:
- A virtual tour of Stan Hywet
- The Met museum
- Opera performances
- Yellowstone in 3-D
- Kenai Fjords National Park
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Dry Tortugas National Park
- Google Earth virtual tours of other national parks
Junior Ranger Badge Earning
Do your kids or grandkids need activities to keep them busy during quarantine? The National Park Service offers several Junior Ranger booklets that parents can download and print at home for their children. After your children finish the booklet, you can mail it back (with your name and return address) to the address that is generally printed in the booklet. Additionally, a few of the Junior Ranger programs listed below can be completed entirely online.
- The Underground Railroad
- Underwater Explorer
- Let’s Go Fishing
- Night Explorer
- Cave Scientist
- Historic Preservation
- Junior Archeologist
- Southeast Archeologist
- Star Spangled Banner
- Clara Barton
- Aztec Ruins
- New Bedford Whaling
- Anza Trail
- Web Rangers
More Camping Themed Fun
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Games provide a great distraction during long days at home with kids. Our family loves Trekking the National Parks, When the kids were younger they enjoyed CAMP and Spot It. There’s also a fun National Parks themed Yahtzee set.
Those are just a few thoughts on how we RVers can use our quarantine intentionally. What ways have you found to not waste your quarantine?