Safety Measures for Traveling During a Pandemic: RVing in Retirement
My husband and I dreamed of traveling. This dream pushed us through the daily routine of maintaining jobs and building careers for 35 years. All the while, we envisioned the day we could travel without deadlines, predetermined destinations, and roads with U-turns home when vacations ended. We worked for the day we could climb in our RV to experience the freedom of travel.
When we retired, our adventures began slowly with a week trip to the ocean, a few days visiting relatives, and some short excursions to test the waters. We had owned a motorhome when the kids were little that primarily hosted our family during camping trips on weekends and a once a year, weeklong vacation. Now, we were planning to explore the US, visit every state. Then, COVID visited and stayed longer than any guest is welcome.
At first we thought travel unacceptable but discovered even in quarantine, safety was possible with appropriate measures. With this discovery, our adventures began.
Limit group size
Two people and a dog climbed in the Ford Excursion and set off to explore. We discovered that when traveling we come in contact with fewer people than if we stayed at home. Since two daughters’ families with four grandchildren lived less than one mile from our home, the temptations to stop by for a minute, drop off some cookies or any of the other quick activities that propelled us into their bubble were eliminated.
Instead we learned to Facetime, staying connected with their daily experiences virtually. We practiced virtual hugs, blowing kisses, and participated in family discussions regularly. Somehow, COVID granted us permission to abandon the tightly knitted bonds of our children to travel because we weren’t supposed to visit them anyways.
With practice, we applied all the necessary, expected precautions. Facemasks became part of our daily attire and in fact during cold weather, we welcomed their warmth. I carried disinfectant spray in my purse. Upon entering any public space, I sterilize the area so heavily observers were probably reminded of the characters from Ghost Busters fumigating possessed homes to rid them of demons. Randy, my husband, kept hand sanitizer on the dash and upon each reentry into our safe zone, slathered it on to kill any germs that may have hitched a ride. We were poster children for safety measures.
Randy used a rubber glove when filling the gas tank and threw it away immediately. I mastered ordering McDonald’s meals on my cellphone so we could pick them up through their contactless process, of course decontaminating each item prior to touching. We reserved our camp spots online and payed via charge card so no human interactions challenged our safety.
We even minimized the need to enter stores by packing nonperishable food in every nook and cranny. Almond milk, which does not need refrigeration, substituted for our traditional 2%; canned chicken made excellent quesadillas, and when in a pinch Velveeta cheese worked great! The three skunks we found living under our trailer were the closest we came to any breathing live forms for days. Traveling during COVID in our trailer proved safe during our explorations.
From time to time, we did meet new people. But we defined our space, usually more than 6 feet apart in our lounge chairs, as we visited. Everybody we met understood the boundaries, but that didn’t ostracize us from the population. COVID instead created a bond because we were all fighting the same enemy, bringing us together at a safe distance.
Time flies when having fun in quarantine and now a year later, we have moved beyond the camp trailer to a 17-year-old, 40 foot motorhome. I expect the learning curve to go straight up as we learn to maneuver this beast of a vehicle. We recently began an extended trip by telling our children from a distance that we would see them when we see them. Old we are but not old enough to get the vaccine so we plan to travel until it is available to us in our state. Join us by reading my stories we adventure to who knows where.
Today’s tip: DO NOT try to bring the slide out in when your spouse is opening the outside compartments. The two moving pieces collide! We have agreed to discuss our plans prior to acting so as to not make a similar mistake in the future.
I plan to share articles on the following topics and stories highlighting the good, the bad and the ugly.
- Tips for traveling with a dog
- Plan ahead when parking a big rig
- 8 must have items for an RV for under 100 dollars
- Parking in the Walmart parking lot may not be an option
- Space saving gadgets for an RV
- Yoga in an RV is possible
- Why we found value in talking with the previous owner after purchasing an RV
Considerations When Planning Post-Retirement Life
Create a Personal Inventory to Guide Decisions