As more and more states lift stay-at-home restrictions, eager Americans are jumping at the chance to finally break free from their indoor prisons and hit the open roads!
In the past, top summer travel picks included things like a 7-day island cruise, jam-packed party resort, or a crowded amusement park adventure.
But this year, summer vacations have taken a whole new twist – and the top destinations of choice for American travelers might surprise you.
At least for now, gone are the days of longing for a first-class luxury flight around the world or a wild cruise extravaganza.
Instead, people are opting for the simple things in life like a camping trip outdoors or a hike through a National Park.
But traveling on the tail end of a pandemic brings a whole new set of challenges – not to mention a hefty sticker shock as businesses try and make up for months of basically no income – passing the expense on to travelers.
So if you’re wondering what the travel scene looks like this summer, check out the hottest trends for 2020.
RV Rental Is Booming
Experts are calling 2020 the “summer of road trips” and expect many Americans will skip flying altogether and travel by car… or RV.
RVshare is a popular platform which lets RV owners list their RVs for rent allowing eager travelers to find the perfect RV for their needs.
There’s everything from luxury RVs to basic campers – all for rent!
Many families are opting for the RV option so they can have freedom and avoid having to follow mandated restrictions like wearing a mask while on vacation.
The Points Guy reported:
“After spending months at home, cooped up inside, many people are going to be looking to book, or rebook, those much-needed vacations,” says Jon Gray, CEO of RVshare. Gray tells TPG that,
“While the rush back to airports or hotels in busy cities may take a little more time, many will turn to RV travel.”
Of course, this makes perfect sense as many travelers are still weary of large crowds and prefer to stay somewhat close to home due to so much uncertainty in the world.
A weekend RV trip sounds much better than being stranded in a foreign county.
And of course, there is always “Glamping” for those who want the outdoor experience without “getting dirty”.
Things like fresh linens, private bathrooms, and air-conditioning can help make a rugged outdoor adventure a bit more “comfortable” for those who are used to the 5-star hotel lifestyle.
A Day At The Beach
Summertime in America typically consists of packed beaches lined with sunbathers and volleyball games and an ocean full of water activity sports and leisure swimmers.
Not this year folks.
Miami Dade beaches are “opening up” – but they’re banning groups larger than 10, forbidding shared equipment and tents and closing down common areas like playgrounds and changing rooms.
This is on top of mandating masks, enforcing social distancing, and even banning group games of more than two people like volleyball.
Not exactly a relaxing day at the beach, huh?
Yet still, Americans are tired of being cooped up inside, and will do anything to be in the open air and soak in the sunshine.
Hurting hotels have been crushed by COVID-19, and are taking advantage of travelers longing for a weekend away and have nearly doubled the price to rent a room.
If you want a weekend away at the beach, expect to shell out some serious cash to pay for it.
Otherwise known as the “East Coast playground for the rich” – this popular summer destination spot has already been packed with people since March and shows no sign of slowing down.
Once COVID-19 swept through New York– those who could afford it jetted out to their second (or third) property in the Hamptons and have been there ever since.
Infuriated locals were angry at the influx of travelers as grocery store shelves were emptied – and healthcare resources stretched.
And this summer, if you’re not from The Hamptons… you’re basically being told to “stay out.”
Beaches are opening, but only to local residents.
Which means if you don’t live there…
… no beach for you.
Restaurants are open in The Hamptons and offering takeout… but you’re going to pay a pretty penny.
Babette’s located in East Hampton charges a whopping $26 for Vegetable Pad Thai and $12.95 for a “watermelon and lime” juice.
Things are so bad for restaurant owners in The Hamptons, Babette’s actually has a GoFundMe page asking people to donate $85,000 to stay open.
Sounds like it might be best to skip The Hamptons this summer.
This seems like the most logical choice for a summer vacation.
Open air. Limited people. Space to walk around and breathe.
Except everyone else is thinking the exact same thing and are flooding the parks in droves!
The Points Guy reported:
“When Great Smoky Mountains National Park opened many major trails and roads on May 9, 2020, a park spokesperson said cars from at least two dozen states filled the parking lots. Travelers swarmed the trails and breezed past barricades.
Zion National Park recently reopened its gates for limited operations on May 13 and quickly filled to capacity. Just after 10 a.m. on a recent Saturday, the park announced parking was full on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, necessitating its closure until space became available.”
If you’re looking to soak in the great outdoors, get there early, or you may likely be turned away.
Everyone Has The Same Idea
So, if you think you’re “beating the crowds” by choosing to travel now…
… realize everyone else has the same idea as you.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t travel.
But be prepared – things are not the way they once were.
You’ll likely be mandated to wear a mask while in public areas and be forced to get your temperature checked.
And if you want to get into a popular location – prepare to get there first thing as crowd restrictions could end up closing entrance locations early.
Get ready to wait in long lines (while practicing social distancing) to enter a shop or boutique… that is if they are still open.
Hungry after a long day?
Good luck finding a seat at an outdoor dining establishment.
And remember, many of the activities at your favorite destinations are still closed, so it might not be worth it to pay a hefty hotel fee to basically walk outside in a mask on the boardwalk.
If you’re looking for a summer vacation – self-sufficient road trips seem like the best option.
Or, wait it out and start planning for a winter vacation now!
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