En español | Airlines are removing middle seats and requiring passengers to wear masks. Hotels are working with the likes of the Mayo Clinic to boost their health practices. It’s anybody’s guess when our favorite restaurants will reopen their dining rooms. But in this age of COVID-19, one segment of the travel industry might be poised for a strong rebound: the RV vacation.
Travel by RV is the one escape in which you can avoid airplanes, bypass interactions with people at hotels and, if you purchase or rent a vehicle with a kitchen, forget worrying about closed restaurants.
“When you rent an RV, you buy the groceries and you do most of the cooking. You control the experience,” says James Ashurst, executive vice president of the RV Industry Association in Reston, Virginia.
“It gives you the comforts of a home or hotel but gives you space to breathe and properly socially distance,” says Donna Wittwer, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, who has taken two RV trips with friends and family, the most recent with her husband and daughter to San Diego last October. “I’m definitely itching to do another trip after being in lockdown."
Where and how to rent an RV
If an RV (recreational vehicle) getaway sounds appealing, you will find numerous companies that rent these cruisers, from conventional RV dealerships to rental firms specializing in them. Among them are Cruise America, based in Mesa, Arizona, which both rents and sells RVs in 128 locations in the U.S. and Canada; and Outdoorsy, which rents privately owned RVs in 11 countries, including the U.S. and Canada.
Companies try to make the process as uncomplicated as possible, with most delivering your vehicle to the location of your choice. “We make it as easy to rent an RV as it is to rent a car,” says Michael Smalley, Cruise America’s executive vice president.
And one need not take a long road trip with an RV rental. You can rent for as little as a two- to three-night minimum.