covid travel road trip, 2020

Old Oct 15th, 2020, 06:49 PM
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covid travel road trip, 2020

Covid travel, germ review



Mrs Z and I were unable to fly to England so as a consolation we headed west to Glacier National Park and Yellowstone. We both were unsure if this was wise or not but I thought we could isolate from the crowds except for hiking and how crowded could a trail be? We brought our own pillows and lots of wipes and hand sanitizer and gave the room a once and a twice over and hoped for the best.



First night the hotel was our best hotel. Bismarck ND. Choice Hotel was very clean and fairly quiet. Masks were required and social distancing observed.



Second and third night the Holiday Inn located in Missoula MT left a lot to be desired. There was a copious amount of dust on the lamps so their “extra” cleaning seemed very suspect. The wipes were utilized. Downtown Missoula is a great spot to spend a few days. Thanks Kureiff.



On to Glacier. The Lodge was packed, very crowded and the restaurants were doing take out only. No problem. Most people observed social distancing, the hotel was clean and most people wore masks, as required.



Glacier Park was nuts. Cars lined up for miles. If you wanted to park and hike a certain trail you had to be there before 8:00 AM or SOL. No matter, my back went out so very little hiking for me. We lived up to my self named “Windshield tourists” name this trip. Mrs Z had to put my socks and shoes on for me, I tip well.



West Yellowstone, unnamed hotel. Dive, dump, whatever you want to call it but I’m pretty sure this hotel is not open year around. Pool closed down, not clean at all, I put a knife behind the door trim when we went to bed for an extra lock.



Yellowstone, we stayed in a ‘cabin’ near Yellowstone Lake. I have been in bigger ice fishing houses but it’s Yellowstone and we were not there for the accommodations. Cleanliness was so so but good enough for us, after the wipe down.



Overall I greatly underestimated the number of people we would come in contact with on the trip. Bathroom wayside rest stops, gas stops, food (even fast food) had human interaction, hotel staff and guests, the number of people in the National Parks was staggering to me, and every one of them has germs. We have been home now for 2 months and never got sick so……

If you want to see a few photos you’ll have to check out the Saturday Night losers club starting the 2nd week of August, might be the 1st week, not sure but Percy starts the thread.
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Old Oct 16th, 2020, 04:40 AM
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It was either very brave or unwise of you to take this trip. I do appreciate your desire to have a trip during these COVID days. Thanks for the info on the conditions in hotels and parks.

I wonder why this is not in the US forum.
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Old Oct 16th, 2020, 03:08 PM
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Rough Guides have a current article on their site, something about 'Nine Best European Road Trips'.
I am done. The wheels.
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Old Oct 16th, 2020, 06:21 PM
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I wonder why this is not in the US forum.
Mods must have decided to put it in the road trip forum since I have road trip in the title. I did mark it for Montana. They're probably right that it belongs in road trip area.
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Old Oct 24th, 2020, 04:34 PM
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Ziggy, were you on Interstates at all? Do you know if rest areas are open? I'm driving to St Louis again (from San Diego), this time driving to avoid flying, and this is critical info!
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Old Oct 24th, 2020, 06:36 PM
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I would fly before staying in a series of hotels, using public rest rooms, eating in restaurants, etc. Buy N95 masks and fly. Ship luggage ahead via FedEx Ground so you don’t have many hands on your luggage and have to stand at a luggage carousel. I would not risk a road trip and have flown cross country twice since COVID arrived. My husband and I are compromised and felt much safer traveling this way.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Oct 24th, 2020 at 06:41 PM.
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Old Oct 25th, 2020, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
I would fly before staying in a series of hotels, using public rest rooms, eating in restaurants, etc. Buy N95 masks and fly. Ship luggage ahead via FedEx Ground so you don’t have many hands on your luggage and have to stand at a luggage carousel. I would not risk a road trip and have flown cross country twice since COVID arrived. My husband and I are compromised and felt much safer traveling this way.
Hotels seem to be ok if you chose carefully and read comments from others. That's where you find out if the hotels are doing what they say they'll do. Public rest rooms en route unfortunately, but mask, gloves, much sanitizer, should be ok. No eating in restaurants, DoorDash delivery to hotel room. Or drive-thru takeout.
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Old Oct 26th, 2020, 01:08 PM
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I did a short road trip from Los Angeles to the Bay Area. You can check the DOT websites for interstate rest stop information. However I found them very busy and did not use the rest rooms even when open. The commercial truck stops have rest rooms that are open. Some of them do a good job of cleaning. You can search for Flying J, Pilot , TA etc and read reviews on Yelp and Google. Also I used the restrooms at grocery stores such as Whole Foods or Sprouts.

Same with hotels, read review. Probably ideal to stay in a single story motel with individual A/C unit. But I stayed overnight in a chain hotel in a business district which I thought would be less busy on a Saturday night. Don't pay extra for breakfast, since it's likely to be a grab n go type anyways. Bonus if they have an individual cup coffee maker in the room such as a Keurig.

Ate takeout back in the hotel.

Last edited by mlgb; Oct 26th, 2020 at 01:11 PM.
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Old Oct 26th, 2020, 02:09 PM
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mlgb, thanks. All the hotels I'm planning have individual A/C and they all include breakfast. On our trip last year, the rest areas were not all that busy. Lots of trucks, but most of the drivers are male. Part of the reason for driving is that I don't want to fly right now, but also I'm going to order some Black Tuesday beer for my son (tomorrow!) for his birthday and I have to drive with that.
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