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Your Next Driveable SW Vacation

Your Next Driveable SW Vacation

After self-quarantining for months, I think we are all craving a location change. With Covid-19 still prevalent, our travel options are limited and we need to make sure to be safe. Limited, but not impossible. Everyone is stressed right now, so it is important to take some time to recoup and recenter yourself, family and friends. While still taking the proper precautions, it’s time to jump in the car and just start going. For as long as you can remember, travel has always been your priority and now is the time to look at your car as your vacation transporter. Your car  now  has a purpose and that is to get you to and your family or friends to a relaxing vacation destination

Remember those dreaded road trips to Florida or other spring break spots with your family? Well now it’s time to upgrade. Grab some friends, furry or human-or solo mission it up, regardless you are going to need to make sure you have playlists and podcasts on deck. Pack your car with lots of treats and liquids, grab your essentials and let’s hit the road. It’s not only about the destination, it’s also about the journey and making new memories! 

It is time to make road trips fun again, open up a map and pick your destination. We are going to highlight some of our favorite Southwest road trip destinations in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma.

 

Texas holds some beautiful sights, ideal for road tripping. As such a large state, there are many adventures waiting for you. Start off with Big Bend National Park in Southwest Texas, explore the largest protected area of the Chihuahuan desert in the United States. From there head to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park just east of El Paso. The park is home to Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas. Take some time outside the mountains and relax by the water at Padre Island National Seashore off the coast of South Texas. This is different from South Padre Island known for populated beaches, Padre Island National Seashore is completely preserved and is the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world.

New Mexico is a great place to explore nature’s history. If you’re a fan of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work, you’ve got to make the journey out to Ghost Ranch, where her studio is located and the influence of many of her pieces. Explore the beautiful scenery and join in on the search for fossils! Just Southwest of Santa Fe is the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, Kasha-Katuwe means ‘white cliffs’ in Keresan. It is a beautiful spot to hike through the cliffs and enjoy the unique scenery. New Mexico has a variety of beautiful scenery that contains so much history, The City of Rocks State Park is a must see. The large sculpted rock formations were created 34.9 million years ago as a result of a volcanic eruption. Artifacts have been found on the grounds leading to evidence of prehistoric native Americans on the land. New Mexico landscape does not lack history, that is for sure!

Arizona holds one of the most beautiful staples of this country, the Grand Canyon. Located on the northern edge of the Grand Canyon is the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the monument itself is bigger than the state of Rhode Island and holds beautiful hiking scenery and caves. The Grand Canyon goes right in between the north side of the Kaibab National Forest. You can stay in an 18th century cabin within the forest and relax in the three-acre fishing facility. Head over to Southeastern Arizona to explore the Chiricahua National Monument, preserved huge balancing rocks that were a result of a massive volcanic eruption about 27 million years ago. Quite a sight to see!

Oklahoma rounds off our list continuing the natural beauty waiting to be explored. Head to south-central Oklahoma so explore the Chickasaw National Recreation Area within the Arbuckle Mountains, the state’s oldest national park. From there head over to real life history along The Trail of Tears, walk with history along the trail stretching between multiple other states. Finish your road trip in southwestern Oklahoma at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, an area dedicated to protecting unique wildlife. Here you will see not only a variety of animals, but over 800 species of plants. As an undisturbed area dedicated to preserving life, it’s a definite destination on the road trip list.

Remember to be safe and take the proper health precautions while out and about, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

“A Vacation helps to relieve stress and boredom, gives us a change of scenery, provides us with adventure, and helps to bring us closer to the people in our lives,” E. S. Woods.

Should I Still Go On Vacation During Coronavirus?

Should I Still Go On Vacation During Coronavirus?

In Life, As In Travel There Are No Guarantees

There was a time not too long ago when travel was about adventure and not knowing exactly what was around the corner added to the excitement. Since the spread of COVID-19, times have drastically changed. Now, if we plan to travel, we want to know exactly what we can expect, more than ever before. You may be asking,

Should I Cancel My Summer Travel Plans Due To Coronavirus?

 

The CDC updates travel guidelines every Monday at noon. 

While some states are beginning to ease stay at home restrictions as early as May 1, others are under extended orders and are asking for visitors to suspend travel plans for the foreseeable future. In areas where restrictions are being lifted, you could expect to be able to travel by mid to the end of May. But just because you can travel, should you?

 

The CDC cautions to not travel if you have the following conditions:

  • Are sick or plan to travel with someone who is sick
  • If you or your loved ones are at higher risk for severe illness

They also caution to always check the state or local health department of the destination you wish to travel to for local policies and recommendations.

 

Eliminate Risk While Getting There  

We’ve been hearing a lot about the importance of handwashing and social distancing since the outbreak of the coronavirus. Just because there is talk about opening up the economy, it doesn’t mean we can ease up on these practices. If you do plan to travel, take all the necessary precautions to protect you and your family.

Air Travel During COVID-19

 

If you are traveling by air, wear a mask. Practice hand washing often and run through a routine with your family before-hand of what that will look like. Will you wear gloves through security? That’s great but understand that the improper use of gloves may contribute to the spread 

 

How will you sanitize things after they’ve been on the security belt? Where’s the closest bathroom for handwashing:

 

  • Before and after going through the security line
  • Before and after eating 

 

Have plenty of hand sanitizer and wipes on hand. TSA has modified its size restrictions for hand sanitizer during this time. Avoid touching surfaces and then using your cell phone. Wipe down credit cards after each time you use them. Always, when in public, avoid touching your face.

 

Be kind to the airline workers. Respect social distancing and remember that they too are on the front-lines.

 

Driveable Vacations

 

Driveable vacations may become the norm during these times. When stopping for gas, to eat or even stretch, remain socially distanced from those you come into contact with. Wear a disposable glove or cloth when pumping gas. Always wash hands or use sanitizer after touching any kind of keypad or kiosk. Remember to wipe down hard surfaces that are often touched after each stop. These include:

 

  • Door handles
  • Steering wheels
  • Radio or temperature dials
  • Seat belts
  • Cell phones that have been out of the car

 

Occasionally open up the windows or a sun-roof for fresh air. If possible, pack a picnic rather than stopping for food at a commercial space.

It’s About Two-Way Social Responsibility

 

Remember that when you travel you are a guest of a community where residents live year-round. Any time someone from the ‘outside’ comes in, this local population becomes at greater risk of exposure. As a guest, it’s your ultimate responsibility to respect and follow the wishes of the location. Mary Calhoun, Mayor of the tourist town of Red River, New Mexico had this to stay to future travelers to her community.

Pre-Planning

 

Hotels and Vacation Rental Home Management companies are stepping up their game when it comes to enhanced sanitation. Chad Mantz at Red River Real Estate has assured his guests that they are ‘leveraging expanded cleaning measures, including sanitizing high-touch surfaces and introducing bleach-based and hospital-grade cleaning solutions’ and this is being echoed industry-wide.

 

Vacation rental homes especially offer extra protection with private entryways, outdoor spaces and no need to interact with other guests. You can further plan ahead and protect yourself by:

  • Ordering touch-free grocery services
  • Bringing your own sanitizers and wipes
  • Finding out ahead of time which restaurants are open for take-out and when
  • Supporting local businesses that rely on tourism
    • Order items for pick-up or buy a gift card for future use

 

In short, no matter what you choose to do, we all need to be as socially and hygienically responsible as we can during the outbreak of COVID-19. 

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