How to Social Distance Your Travels

Socially distant travels, one introvert’s dream is another extrovert’s reality.

Travel has never been more enjoyable than in 2020. I’m here to show you that you can social distance while traveling. And enjoy it too! For introverts, this is a dream come true. But extroverts can also have great social distance travel experiences. In fact, it is possible to keep 6ft away from others and still be social! 

In the next few paragraphs, we’ll explore three travel options that allow for social distancing: Staycations, road trips, and backpacking. I’ll be using examples from around Las Vegas, but you should be able to find comparable destinations near you. For destination ideas near you, check out other WildBum blogs. 

Staycations

According to Merriam-Webster, a staycation is “a vacation spent at home or nearby.” Though it has been a growing trend even before 2020, it is now becoming much more popular

In staycations, you have the option to stay in your own home, get a hotel room, or go camping nearby. 

Hotels have updated their sanitation and social distancing procedures. In fact, some hotels in Las Vegas offer contactless check-ins and you can use your phone as the room key! The downside to Vegas hotels is that you must use the elevator. This is a small space shared with many strangers. Because of this, I recommend you go camping.

There are many more camping options around Las Vegas than one would imagine. In summertime, just a short drive away is Mt Charleston. Though it gets crowded, you can usually find a quiet spot to yourself. In cooler weather, head to Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, Red Rock Canyon, and even farther to Mesquite or St George. There are countless options.

If you’re staying at home, I recommend completely shutting down the computer as well as closing the office door. That space is off-limits for the entirety of your vacation! If you’re in Las Vegas, check out Bird and Hike for hiking trail ideas or walk around some city parks you’ve never been to. Return home in the evening to order food delivery, hang a hammock in the backyard, and make yourself a nice cocktail. You deserve it!

Cook in the wild

Around Las Vegas, you can find restaurants with outdoor seating, curbside pickups, and delivery options. That’s probably good enough for social distancing. But these options are not everywhere. For this reason, you should be prepared to cook outside. 

If you need camping and cooking gear, you can rent it from Basecamp Outdoor Gear. They offer complete camp kitchen kits or individual items like stoves and coolers. They’ll even go a step further and offer you meal kits from Gypsy Kitchen. All meals come with cooking instructions to make over the camping stove or the campfire.

Use promo code WILDBUM to receive 10% off your rental from Basecamp Outdoor Gear.

By the way, you can now preorder groceries from most supermarkets. This saves you valuable vacation time, and you don’t have to go inside the store. 

Roadtrips

The Free Dictionary defines road trips as a “lengthy trip taken in a motor vehicle, especially for pleasure.” This is the ultimate vacation for introverts! Set the car on cruise control, drive long distances, listen to podcasts, and talk to no one. 

The Southwest of the United States is full of road trip destinations and wide-open spaces. Check out these suggestions to drive to in a regular passenger car or in a 4WD vehicle

Of course, extroverts can also enjoy the open road. Turn the music up loud in your car and sing along to the radio. While introverts choose to keep to themselves, conversation opportunities abound for extroverts in gas stations, campgrounds, and trailheads. 

Rent a car

If your car is not made for long-distance road trips, consider renting a car instead. Make sure to sign up for a rental car program so you can have contactless pick-ups. For example, Avis Preferred members get a text message with the location of their vehicle. Keys are already inside. Simply walk to your vehicle, get in, and drive.

Backpacking, bikepacking, kayaking, SUPing, and the like

Backpacking, as defined by the Cambridge Dictionary, is “the activity of walking from place to place in wild places, carrying the things you need in a backpack and camping at night.” Aside for hiking, this also applies to biking, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and many other activities. This section, as it applies to social distancing, is self-explanatory. Go deep into nature and stay there. 

You may encounter other people on the trail, but there’s usually room enough for everyone. The only exception to this is Havasupai, which is so crowded it requires a permit to go there. Note that in 2020, the tribe decided to restrict access to Havasupai until further notice. 

Alternatives to backpacking in the Southwest include the John Muir Trail in summertime or Buckskin Gulch in cooler weather. You can kayak for days on Lake Powell. And you can SUP for as long as you want down the Escalante River.

Camping gear rentals

For those who choose to overnight in the wilderness, Basecamp has all the gear you need. Check out their Havasupai Package for a complete backpacking kit or rent individual backpacking items.

If you’re more into car or backyard camping, Basecamp has spacious tents, hammocks, and very comfortable sleeping pads for rent.

It is possible and easy to vacation without having to break the 6 ft social distancing guidelines. Introverts can have a full vacation without talking to another soul while extroverts can talk their heart away from a safe distance.

Hotels and airlines may be taking a hit, but the camping industry is alive and well. It is quite difficult to social distance at the airport, so I recommend putting off your overseas travels till next year. This fall, try a weekend getaway less than three hours from home. The possibilities are endless.

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