I have been a travel advisor for 9 years now and I had never planned a trip so last minute for myself. (2 weeks of notice). We are seeing this growing trend of last-minute travel with all of our clients.
Lucky for me, I have had experience of traveling with my two-year-old son Julien on planes for domestic and international travel…but preparing for what I knew would be an aggressive 2-day road trip was no easy task. We would be driving from Chicago to Phoenix to visit family and stay for a month with no intention of flying back.
My advice for any parent thinking of cross-country travel during a pandemic is to simply prepare for unexpected circumstances and to be totally flexible with changes. You cannot control everything that can happen, but you can at least be comfortable knowing you aren’t willingly putting your family at risk.
We started by driving overnight so that Julien could sleep during the longest stretch of the drive. We didn’t get to experience the traditional Route 66 route for this trip, but I’d encourage it for those who have more time to do it. Our only stops were to refuel on gas and restroom stops which all were extremely clean. If there is any positive light to this pandemic, it’s that all businesses have taken cleanliness to the extreme.
Get ready to eat fast food during your road trip because as of right now, that is the most reliable food establishment open for drive thru. Part of the fun in a road trip is stopping and exploring new territory and with all the state mandated restrictions changing, what seems like every other day now, it’s difficult to “wing it”. I encourage you to make or prepare your own food and snacks for the first leg of your drive and then to plan a few options on where you’d like to stop.
Our route did not include an overnight stay until Colorado Springs. We arrived in 14 hours from Chicago and still had about 12 hours to go. We stayed at the Hyatt by the Garden of the Gods area. We were impressed with the cleanliness and the staff’s respect and professionalism of social distancing with their guests. Even though we were traveling during troubling times, we felt the warm hospitality even with our masks shielding our smiles.
If you have not been to Colorado Springs before, the Garden of the Gods is a must do! We can set you up with a private guide for some incredible hiking, biking, rock climbing, nature walks, and more here. Our team has always booked US travel but for the past few months, the demand has spiked and Colorado is a wonderful state to venture to!
For all the families out there, traveling with your little ones - especially with a toddler, can be challenging if you are trying to get from point A to point B. For this reason, private air charters are becoming increasingly popular and we encourage all our clients to consider flying this way. Traveling on the mother road is lovely, taking in the sights and being able to explore new territory, but for now, road trips aren’t the same as before. For some, there may be that underlining fear factor and for others, travel won’t look much different than before. However, traveling comfortably and knowing you are in the hands of people who get why flying private is essential right now takes the worry out of your much-needed trip.
We made it Phoenix in one piece after dealing with the last 3 hours of a whiny 2-year-old. Spending our month in Arizona was much needed family time and while we weary of the COVID-19 measures taking place in Phoenix, we came back to Chicago safe and sound. To many it might sound crazy, but we plan on traveling during the holidays in the same manner to see family again.
No matter the reason for your travels, we are here with you. Using our experience and creativity, we can get you to your destination safely and comfortably. We are open for business and look forward to booking your next journey-wherever that may be.
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