Camping: The Perfect Vacation for Social Distancing

As the nation emerges from coronavirus restrictions, several recent surveys have shown that many people are looking forward to resuming travel – but in a way that emphasizes social distancing. In fact, KOA’s 2020 North American Travel Report highlights that leisure travelers rank camping as the safest form of travel to resume once restrictions are lifted.

Road trips, outdoor adventures and remote destinations are expected to be the focus for travelers this summer, while group tours, city destinations and cruises will take a backseat.

Because camping is anticipated to be particularly popular in 2020, we’ve rounded up five advantages for you to consider, plus five hints to help you plan.

Why Camping is Ideal This Summer

Camping is probably the most ideal trip for those committed to doing their part to observe social distancing. It lets you:

  1. Avoid crowds – Camping allows you to effectively limit contact to those within your group. Enjoy quality time with people you care about while being socially responsible.
  2. Enjoy the great outdoors – There’s just something about being out in nature that is restorative for the soul. Plus, most activities associated with camping, such as hiking, biking, and fishing, allow you to maintain plenty of distance from those outside your group.
  3. Worry less about food – Whether it’s cooking over a campfire or a grill, you can eat food you prepare yourself. This eliminates concerns about possible contamination of food, dishes or utensils.
  4. Rest easier – Since you’ll be using your own chairs, pillows and bedding, you’ll have fewer concerns about germs.
  5. Travel near home or far away – The abundance of campgrounds all over the country means flexibility in choosing a destination, and places to stop along the way.

Camping Safety and Considerations for 2020

If there’s a camping trip in your future, here are a few things to think about as you move forward with plans for your getaway:

  1. No RV? No problem! – The AAA PowerSports and RV Buying program has a partnership with RV rental site Outdoorsy that saves members $40. AAA members can view a list of available RVs from local owners, look at detailed information and photos of those of interest, and reserve online. For novices, this is a great way to test the waters to see whether camping is for you.
  2. Plan ahead – Campgrounds have been affected by the COVID shutdown, just like most other businesses, and many are opening gradually in stages. Tent campers who rely on campsite services such as showers and restrooms are apt to find fewer available accommodations – at least early in the summer. RV travelers may find camping easier, with those essentials self-contained. In addition, campers might experience restrictions on swimming and the use of playground equipment at some campgrounds. It’s always a good idea to call ahead or check online to avoid disappointment.
  3. Reserve in advance – With national parks and other outdoor destinations being this year’s anticipated travel hot spots, it’s especially important to make reservations ahead of time to secure your campsite. Many are shrinking capacity limits to facilitate safer distances and eliminate crowds. It is especially important to make reservations when you plan to camp at a popular destination.
  4. Expand your search – Given that sites at state and national parks may fill up more quickly than expected, don’t overlook local, regional and private campgrounds near your destination or along the way. Use AAA’s campground search to discover options from the Poconos in Penn. to Pomeroy, Wash.
  5. Stock up before hitting the road – If you’re heading to a remote area, food and other supplies may not be as readily available. Lay in a store of family favorites before you leave, then restock when passing through larger towns.

Whether you are a veteran camper, someone who has always wanted to try it, or someone who has never even considered it before now, 2020 is shaping up to be the year for camping.