The Summer of the RV
As Americans face the realization that their summer vacations are going to look different this year, there is one clear vacation trend for the summer of 2020: RV travel. RVs allow families to get out for an adventure together while giving them an enhanced sense of safety during this pandemic by isolating from others.
When I was a kid, my family always took summer road trips for our vacation. We went all over the east coast in our station wagon. But one special summer, we rented an RV, picked up my grandparents, aunt, and uncle, and we had the ultimate road trip. We went to Niagara Falls, crossed into Canada, traveled west across the southern-most part of Ontario, came back into the US at Detroit, and drove home. When I think back to that trip, I am instantly transported to my 12-year-old self and how cool it was to be in an RV. During the day, I had my grandparents’ undivided attention as we played games at the table, while the grown-ups (my parents, aunt, and uncle) were responsible for driving us to our next destination. We had great snacks in the fridge and didn’t have to ask to stop for a bathroom. All of our campgrounds had pools. We ate s’mores every night. I slept in the “apple tree,” the bed over the driver. And we saw some awesome sights—together.
If you’re thinking about an RV vacation this year, here are a few considerations for you:
* National and state parks are ideal destinations for an RV vacation. And an outdoorsy vacation is ideal for this season of pandemic. Some national parks are experiencing a lot of guests already, so if you want to avoid crowds, you might want to try some state parks instead of or in addition to a national park.
* With an RV, you have complete freedom—to see whatever you want, go wherever you want, be on your own schedule, sleep in your own bed, and cook your own meals. It also means you have a little more work to do—planning those meals, planning your route, and making your own bed each day.
* Before you embark on a long summer vacation, try one or two shorter trips. Try out lots of different options; for example, private campgrounds with more amenities and national or state parks with fewer amenities, sites with electric and water hookups and sites without these conveniences. These shorter trips also give you an idea of how much food and clothing you have room for in your RV, which is a good thing to know before you start packing for your long vacation.
* If you’ve never driven an RV before, think about renting one for your first trip, rather than buying one. This will give you a chance to see if it is a good fit for you and your travel style before making the financial commitment of ownership.
If you’re thinking that renting an RV might be a good option for your summer vacation, give us a call. We can help! There are a variety of rental companies that we work with, and they provide a full range of services. Some even deliver and set up your RV at a campground. Let us know where you want to go, and we will work with you to find the right RV and camping experience for your family. Stay safe, everyone!
Say Aloha To Hawaii
We already know that domestic locations will open for tourism before international locations. So in this week’s blog, we are going to highlight one of our favorite domestic destinations: Hawaii. It is the perfect combination of exotic and familiar, giving you a greater comfort level as you begin traveling again. If you’re looking for an awesome destination that minimizes risk in this challenging time, talk to us about Hawaii!
For the visitor, Hawaii has 6 major islands. Your Hawaiian itinerary really depends on how you like to vacation. For example, do you want to spend a week at a resort, exploring one island or even just one area in depth? Or would you prefer to island hop, seeing the highlights on a couple of different islands? If you want to island hop, I generally advise choosing 2 or 3 islands so that you don’t spend too much of your time in transit. Another option for visiting Hawaii is a cruise. There are several small cruise lines that visit quiet coves and lesser-known spots around the islands.
For first-time visitors, Oahu, Maui, and the island of Hawaii are the most popular destinations. One of the aspects of Hawaii that you will notice right away is the “spirit of aloha,” the warm hospitality of the Hawaiian people. The Hawaiian people are a major reason why visitors love to go to Hawaii, so make sure you find time to interact with people and learn more about their way of life: their customs, food, etc. The more you learn about Hawaii, the more you are sure to love it!
If you like history and culture…make sure you go to Oahu, where you can see Pearl Harbor; the USS Arizona memorial; Iolani Palace, the last palace of the Hawaiian monarchy, before it became a state; and the Polynesian Cultural Center. On Maui, visit Lahaina, an old whaling village and former capital of Hawaii that is now an island hotspot with chic shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
If you are a nature lover…organize your trip around state and national parks. One of my favorites is Haleakala National Park, where you can see one of the most spectacular sunrises from atop the dormant volcano. It’s one of the most beautiful sunrises in the world. The Hana Highway is a beautiful and scenic drive with gorgeous island views. On the Island of Hawaii, don’t miss Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can see two volcanoes (Maunaloa and Kilauea) and drive on Crater Rim Drive, which circles Kilauea. You also don’t want to miss Kauai, the island also known as the Garden Isle. It has cascading waterfalls, deep canyons, and tropical rain forests. Much of the island is inaccessible by car, so hiking, helicopter tours, and ATV tours are popular ways to experience the nature of Kauai.
If you want to spend a lot of time on the beach…you can’t go wrong on any of the islands. All of the islands have good beaches. You just need to find the beaches that are the best fit for you. Oahu is home to Waikiki Beach, with its wide stretches of golden sand and hordes of people. It is also home to popular surf beaches on the North Shore. Kauai’s Poipu Beach tends to be great for swimmers. Lanai’s beaches offer great opportunities to see dolphins. The Big Island’s Punalu’u Beach is the state’s black sand beach, which is a unique experience for any beach lover.
If you’re ready for a destination that has something for everyone, give us a call to begin planning your Hawaiian vacation. We’ll help you choose the best way to see the islands, generate your must-see list for Hawaii, and plan an itinerary that makes all of it manageable.
Details and Recommendations
Getting There and Getting Around: Most people who visit Hawaii enter the state via airports on Oahu or the Island of Hawaii. There are short, inexpensive flights between islands allowing you to easily island hop. For some areas, you may want to rent a car to make it easier to get around and see all of the sights. For other areas, a car is not at all practical. We can help you figure that out.
Staying There: There are accommodations for every budget in Hawaii. There are even beach resorts for almost any budget in Hawaii! Because of the mountainous nature of the islands, it can take a long time to go a short distance in Hawaii. I choose accommodations based on what clients want to do in the area to minimize travel time on the island and maximize the time spent doing whatever you want!
Don’t Miss: Hawaiian food. I didn’t mention too much about food in this post, but there are so many delicious food options in Hawaii. From gourmet restaurants to fantastic food trucks to traditional luaus, you can’t go wrong. One of my favorites: Hula Pie!
How Long: It takes a long time to get to Hawaii from the East Coast. If you’re going that far, plan to spend at least a week. The more time you spend, the more islands you will be able to see.
Contact: Call us at 434-390-8233 to start planning your dream vacation to Hawaii!
Latest Passport Information
Early this month, the State Department published updated information about passport applications and renewals during this time of pandemic. “Because of public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have extremely limited U.S. passport operations. If you apply or renew now, you will experience significant delays of several months to receive your U.S. passport and the return of your citizenship evidence documents (such as birth certificates or naturalization certificates). Unless you have a life-or-death emergency, please wait until we resume normal operations to apply for or renew your passport.”
The State Department is encouraging citizens to wait to apply or renew passports until they resume normal operations. While we generally advise clients to get their passport applications/renewals in as soon as possible, we are advising clients right now to wait. We are also advising clients to delay international travel if their passport is not going to be valid for 6 months beyond their travel dates. The primary reason for this guidance is so that you are not without your citizenship documents for several months while your passport application/renewal is being processed. Unless your situation is life-or-death (and you have documentation to support it), your application/renewal simply won’t be processed in the near future.
For those of you who use a passport to travel on airplanes domestically, we have good news. The REAL ID requirement has been postponed from October 1, 2020 to October 1, 2021. This means that you can use your driver’s license, whether it is REAL ID-compliant or not, to board a domestic flight.
If you are caught without a passport or with a passport that will expire soon, we would be happy to help you plan a fantastic domestic vacation for later this year. A number of states are beginning to open, and many fine resorts are taking reservations now. Give us a call if you are caught in this unusual passport situation, and we will be happy to offer our best advice for practical options.
Happy Mother's Day
This is definitely going to be an unconventional Mother’s Day as we all celebrate in the midst of the pandemic. If you haven’t wanted to go to a store to buy a Mother’s Day gift, consider planning some travel as a gift for the mom in your life. We know that an experience gift gives a lifetime of memories and brings us closer.
At Globe Travel, we can help you with the planning, as well as the timing, given the current situation in our world. We’d love to help you create an outstanding travel experience that you can enjoy whenever the time is right.
Whether you are a mom, or whether you love a mom, consider some mom travel this holiday. It’s a great way to honor a mom and to spend time—the most precious of all gifts—with those who are most dear to you.
More Virtual Travel
The travel industry has been hit hard by this pandemic. Tourism is a major part of the economy for many special places. While we all need to stay home right now and stay healthy and safe, all of these places will be waiting for us when the time is right to return to traveling. So where will you visit first? Here’s a collection of some of my favorite video clips that have been created by destinations around the world—to let you know just how much you are missed and how ready they will be to welcome you back. Enjoy these virtual visits to some great places.
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