Coronavirus and Travel in the United States

Get ready for the summer of the RV. This article suggests that an RV could become the primary mode of travel for vacationers and others looking to get away should COVID-19 travel restrictions be lifted.

As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the industry, the demand for travel is slowly—slowly—creeping back up again. But many remain wary of getting on a plane, a train or a cruise ship and being packed tightly in with strangers, never knowing if everybody is going to be wearing a mask, never knowing if somebody is unknowingly carrying the virus, never knowing if a flight is going to be empty enough for social distancing—or perhaps not.

Welcome to what could be the year of the Recreational Vehicle, more commonly known as the beloved RV.

And, according to LCI Industries CEO, Kason Lippert:

RVs and boats provide attractive alternatives to vacation more safely as families are eager to get out of the house. At the same time, RVing and boating offer a great solution to social distancing for families that want to travel the country and experience the great outdoors. Air travel, cruise ships and hotels are likely going to be less popular, at least in the near term. As a result, the outdoor recreational products business is expected to accelerate.

Craig Kirby, President of the RVIA, had this to say:

After an indeterminate period of isolation, we believe families will be more enthusiastic than ever to get outside and see new places, even within their own states. RV travel allows people to sleep in their own bed, cook gourmet meals, and control where they go. Once federal and state restrictions are lifted, they’ll be able to experience the endless range of outdoor wonders throughout the country and the freedom of independent travel that RVs offer. This includes the option to forego a campground since RVs have everything a family needs to camp remotely.

Based on all of this, we should see RV parks overflowing with new campers this summer. The shoulder-to-shoulder practice of jamming RVs together in some RV campgrounds might get even worse than this one:

An isolated, wilderness location would be a far more suitable destination than many commercial RV campgrounds.

What does the CDC have to say about travel right now?

CDC recommends you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential, and practice social distancing especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness. Don’t travel if you are sick or travel with someone who is sick.

The CDC is thoughtful enough to make a comment about the risk of traveling in an RV during a global pandemic:

If you must travel, consider the following risks you might face, depending on what type of travel you are planning:
Air travel: Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights. However, there may be a risk of getting COVID-19 on crowded flights if there are other travelers on board with COVID-19.
Bus or train travel: Sitting or standing within 6 feet of others for a prolonged period of time can put you at risk of getting or spreading COVID-19.
Car travel: The stops you need to make along the way could put you and others in the car with you in close contact with others who could be infected.
RV travel: Traveling by RV means you may have to stop less often for food or bathrooms, but RV travelers typically have to stop at RV parks overnight and other public places to get gas and supplies. These stops may put you and those with you in the RV in close contact with others who could be infected.

We will wait it out and avoid any travel in our motorcoach until, hopefully, the fall.

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