Travel and COVID-19 - August 5, 2020


Lauren Leslie

August 5, 2020 - 3 min. read

I learned a new word this week: “boondocking.” According to an article on pandemic-era road trips that invites readers to “consider camping (legally) on private land,” boondocking, or dry camping, is “a term that generally refers to RV or van camping without access to services like electrical hookups or external water facilities” (Smithsonian Mag). As an American pastime, boondocking has gained serious traction in the past few months given the ongoing risks associated with other forms of travel, particularly by air, during COVID-19. So why not hit the road in a self-contained rental RV?

While sites for these kinds of overnight adventures have typically included federally-run forests, beaches, and even parking lots, “a growing number of private lands are opening themselves up to boondocking, and…tent camping as well” (Smithsonian). Sites as diverse as wineries, farms, and museums have become particularly enticing spaces to park RVs or pitch tents given that many travellers remain reluctant to stay in hotels. Indeed, RV rentals continue to reach new heights nationwide and a number of websites helping travellers connect with boondocking hosts are gaining popularity; check out Hipcamp, Harvest Hosts, and Boondockers Welcome as examples (Smithsonian).

Boondocking aside, CNN Travel reports that 22 American states continue to enforce at least some travel restrictions for visitors. Although regulations change almost constantly and differ from one state to the next, states including Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, and South Carolina may require proof of a negative COVID test and/or 14-day quarantine upon arrival depending on circumstances like the visitor's point of origin. New York, one of the hardest hit states, requires the following as of August 4:

  • All travelers who have recently visited a state with a positive testing rate of 10% or higher over a seven-day rolling period or had a positive test rate of 10 or more per 100,000 residents must quarantine for 14 days. 
  • There are 36 states currently on the list. 
  • Those traveling by airplane must fill out a travel form before exiting the airport or face a fine of $2,000. Those traveling to New York through other methods such as cars and trains must fill out the form online (CNN Travel).

As always, information changes so frequently that keeping tabs on restrictions requires pretty constant vigilance. That said, whether you’re travelling by air, car, or RV, be sure to determine what your destination requires prior to your arrival. Have fun and stay safe!

Tags: COVID-19

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