It wasn’t my first thought to emerge from three months of quarantine in Newport to catapult straight into the heart of the country on a two week road trip, but as usual, this thing we call life had plans for me to get out of my comfort zone and on to the interstate. A family death and a micro wedding will do that to you. But if you’ve read anything about how I feel about travel you know that I feel hitting the road is the best for all matters of the heart and mind.
Traveling during a pandemic is not too different than traveling pre Covid-19 if you’re as systematic and vigilant about safety and cleanliness as yours truly. But I thought I would share a few insights as we navigate this new normal during the summer months and likely beyond.
Wearing masks for our first micro wedding
First, wear a mask. Wear a damn mask. Wear a mask or stay home. No one wants to infect others or be infected by another and especially while traveling one could potentially cause an outbreak in an unsuspecting community because you wanted everyone to see your beautiful face. Have respect for yourself and others and call to confirm rules and follow signage where posted. We really are all in this together and the way we are getting out is together too. We know you’re gorgeous, wear a mask.
The Henry, where Michael’s dad and wife spent their wedding night when it was the Ritz years ago and Michael and I happened to stay at during this trip.
Next consider your level of adaptability. If you’re super particular and find change to be debilitating, a road trip during a pandemic may not be for you. Embracing the changes that come along with making plans that may fall apart because a hotel or restaurant or rest stop may be closed suddenly is a must. Off course all travel can be unpredictable, just be ready to pivot as needed to keep yourself and others safe. While in Detroit our hotel was canceled last minute due to Covid precautions. When we booked another spot we ended up being a lot closer to where we needed to be and learned some family history about the building that made it all feel serendipitous. So if things get cancelled just roll with it and find the next spot because maybe that’s where you’re meant to be after all.
Travel with someone you love to be with because let’s face it, that’s who you’re going to be spending most of your time with for the trip. You anticipate hundreds or in our case, thousands of miles with your co- traveler, but now with social distancing, gone are the times of cozying up to new friends on boats and at beaches and over-crowded restaurants where you’re bound (okay we talk to everyone when we travel) to chat with your neighbors at dinner. I don’t know. This might be the hardest part for me - I love getting to know people in new places. But we found ourselves adjusting and and still chatting but for shorter times and at a distance and behind a mask.
Travel for me is a way of life I’m not ready to part with for any reason, but Covid is scary and with so many variables I’m not sure I would push further than a multi-state, super socially distanced, road trip with my family. And even that three months ago seemed impossible so I have hope over time we will all be back out there. Hopefully with masks and a new perspective of flexibility on what’s important and with our loves.
Ralph Lauren in Chicago was a favorite stop for dinner, but between social distancing and just reopening post Covid lockdown it was unusually quiet for the typically bustling restaurant
Send me a note if you want more details and let me know where you’re headed! Be well and be safe
US Road Trip Resources
If you are sick or suspect you are sick because you came into contact with someone with Covid stay home. It’s not worth being out of town unwell and potentially spreading this thing to other places.
Using Google Maps to look up stops and businesses is super helpful as it notes if businesses are open and hours but with added features like dining or shopping in-store, curbside or delivery. We call everyone before assuming anything online is correct, but it’s been a good guide.
As usual, Whole Foods has proven to be the cleanest, best bathroom break along most US routes. The normalcy of a familiar market breaks up the monotony and provides healthy meals and snacks opposed to gas station food meaning you’re feeling better and more clear headed for your trip in the long run.
We had concerns about staying at hotels, but like everyone else, hotels want to remain open so we noticed staff was doing everything to keep spaces clean, distanced and safe.
Part of my order to Sister Pies in Detroit - a place I have been wanting to try for a long time, but only had the chance this week and lucky for me they are offering pickup! Be sure to check all destinations for protocols and hours before hitting the road.
Support local where you can. We skipped Starbucks and other chains where we could to support the smaller businesses being impacted by lower tourism this summer. Being a shop owner I tried to hit at least one store while traveling however it was a little tricky in some cities that have yet to reopen.
I brought 6 masks and 6 hand sanitizers and used all of them. I could have used more I think. Something about being in a car on a road trip keeps all your stuff moving around and having access to necessities to stay safe during the pandemic was a top priority.
Check out these face coverings and hand sanitizer from the shop for what we used all 3600 miles of our trip.