Why Road Trips are Making a Comeback this SummerJune 29, 2020 | By Leah Freeman-Haskin
With borders closed and much of the world at a standstill due to COVID-19, it’s no surprise that many travel enthusiasts are turning to a simpler way of seeing the world – road trips. The uptick in RV rentals and road trips is for many, a way of having control over their socially distanced travel experience. Some people feel safer, more comfortable, and prefer the privacy of renting an RV or car with close family and friends to traveling in crowded airports or train stations.
According to Business Insider, Mike Regan, the president of Crestview RV, told Bloomberg that floor traffic at his two RV dealerships outside Austin, Texas, was up 30% compared to last May. The biggest group of interested buyers and renters are people who are looking to travel by RV for the first time because of the pandemic, he said.
Setting off on your next road trip is easy and fun to plan. Here are some tips to get you started.
Car vs. RV
The first step is determining which mode of transportation is best for you. Depending on the distance, the number of people, and the level of adventure, you can decide if an RV or car would be best. If you are traveling with young children or in a group, opt for an RV. You will be grateful for the extra space and the money you will save on hotels. For shorter road trips, a car should be suitable. But remember, this option means you may have to stay the night in hotels, which some may argue is not the safest option right now. Outdoorsy and Cruise America are both great places to start the booking process for your RV rental.
Plan Your Route
Whether you are planning a day trip or are in it for the long haul, mapping out a plan before you head out is a good idea given the current state of things. Since many attractions and national parks are still closed to the public due to the pandemic, be sure to check ahead and make reservations if necessary. Be prepared and flexible with last-minute changes and alternative plans, knowing that so much is still uncertain. Need some inspiration on your itinerary? Black Tomato joins several other brands in launching a new offering of domestic road trip itineraries for summer.
RV rentals come with considerable expenses. Trailers, campers, and motorhomes can range in cost from $100 to $700 per day and most rental companies require you to return the rental to the same location in which you picked it up. You will also need to factor in daily gas costs, food, and campsites which can range from $30 to $50 or more per night. Depending on the length of your trip, you also need to consider sewage dumping and water refilling costs. There are many online databases that can help you find RV campsites such as Go RVing. If you plan on road tripping a lot, consider buying your own RV, which can range from $10,000 – $300,000 depending on how fancy you want yours to be. But over a long period of time, it could be worth the expense.
Though car rentals may be cheaper per day, you don’t get the space and amenities you would with an RV. You will also have to pay for nightly hotel rooms, food, and gas. If cost is an issue, take some time to compare budgets and determine which option makes the most sense.
Taking to the road is a great adventure and offers a unique opportunity to see the country from a new vantage point. This slower mode of transportation allows for unexpected experiences and a different kind of bonding with loved ones. During a time when social distancing is the new normal, we could all use a little closeness.