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  1. Default Road trip from AL to NM

    How are conditions right now for travel? Obviously taking precautions for covid-19, but also trying to take a trip (10 days) and be around less populated areas.

    Planned route is

    20/59 South
    20 west
    380 into NM

    Of course the alternative is to go thru MS, TN, AS,OK, and drop into NM. That would give us multiple stopsnon a 18hr drive, there and back.

    All very preliminary, but the trip is taking place 06/12-06/22

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    I've been trying to keep an eye on states for our own wishful trip, so I "hear" where you're coming from. Yes, precautions: your own cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves for fueling up your vehicle, definitely several masks, food in the vehicle for those places that have yet to open up their restaurants to dine-in (unless you don't mind meals full of take-out). I'd make hotel reservations along the way so that you'll have a set place to end each day, if it were me, and make a request to use a room that hasn't been used in a few days (if that's possible in June). Some folks will tell you to bring your own blankets etc., but I'd just bring my own pillows - we do that as a rule anyway.

    Little by little, the states are starting to open up. Don't expect any sightseeing places to be open, but you should be able to get fuel (prices are rising again), something to eat (though you may have to eat it in your car or hotel room), and use the restroom somewhere. I haven't researched any of the states you'll be going through, though.


  3. Default

    Hey thanks! I have a car kit (mechanic), and we are taking a tent and sleeping bags as a random option. I appreciate the advice on booking ahead

    Alot if the activities are national parks and such and seem that their facilities wont be open, but they may by then. Carlsbad Caverns is open right now i think.

    We originally planned an OBX trip, but we have seen the East Coast and have never been West/Southwest before. We have the time, fuel is cheap, hotels are cheap.

    Tha is for the advice, it will be taken to heart!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Right now, the National Parks are individually opening, taking into consideration the state in which they are located. The park itself may be open, but you have to check for the status of services such as campgrounds, eateries, and even individual trails. In Carlsbad Caverns, for instance, they are still listed as the caverns and visitor centers being closed. There are no campgrounds in the park, so you'd have to stay outside the park.

    We have an entire forum focused on camping, and an entire thread about camping in/near US National Parks. As stated, CCNP has no campgrounds, but if you like dispersed camping, there are BLM lands all around CCNP. Guadalupe Mountains NP, nearby (40 miles) has campgrounds. However, it too is listed as closed.

    If you're trying to do a sightseeing trip, you're probably going to have to wait until just before your trip dates to decide whether to go/stay home. I wasn't sure of the nature of your trip, so I responded like you may have to travel just to check on family elsewhere (like we hope to do). I know that quite a few states are trying to discourage any form of pleasure travel right now -- my own state of CA included. They want to "open" the state but only for the folks that currently live t/here. It's frustrating, annoying, and has me singing Gene Autry's "Don't Fence Me In", but it's reality.


  5. Default

    Yeah it's our 2020 family trip, we took the time in December, usually go to the beach with my wife's family and they have all bailed this year, but we still want to make something happen. May have to just look around at all traveling options.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    You'll have to make your own decisions, but it should be noted that CDC guidelines are still recommending that long distance recreational travel be avoided, because of the potential of both contracting the disease, and the risk of spreading it to new areas, particularly rural areas that may not have the health care option to effectively deal with it (a major problem in parts of New Mexico and Arizona right now).

    Also keep in mind that many of the states opening up are doing so despite not coming close to meeting the targets recommended under the CDC guidance. And while states are getting pressured to open up, the Federal Government is still generally not rolling back its restrictions. For example, the Canadian and Mexican borders will still remain closed beyond the dates of your trip. While "opening up" will make travel easier, it will also make the spread of the virus easier.

    The safest and most responsible really would be to stay closer to home. The idea of spending your vacation time doing a more in-depth exploration of places in your home state/region is something worth at least considering. While not nearly as sexy as a long cross country trip, it is amazing how much stuff in your own back yard can be overlooked.

    Of course, that's not the advice anyone active in a roadtrip forum really wants to give - and the irony of the lowest gas prices of all time and many people having more time off while giving that advice is especially cruel. I'm not even saying there is a right or wrong answer about what you should do, but Pandemics are serious things, and when you're in the country with more cases than anywhere else in the world, serious thought should be given before making any travel plans.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Just a Thought

    You say that you are planning your trip to "be around less populated areas" and yet you intend to use Interstate Highways through major metropolitan areas, in particular Dallas/Fort Worth. The other 'problem' with Interstates is that they are limited access which means that there may only be services every 15 to 20 miles or so. That's normally not a problem, but in a pandemic it means that everyone using those highways will be stopping at the same gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores and motels - the ones at the exits.

    One option I'd definitely consider is forgetting the Interstates and instead use the 'old' US Highway System. These roads are generally well-maintained with decent speed limits, and in the less populated regions you'll be driving through there won't be a lot of mid-sized or larger towns to slow you down. And with fewer travelers in general, they should be even better in all those regards. In your particular case, I'd look at US-82 which more or less splits the difference between I-20 and I-40 with the largest towns it passes through being Texarkana and Wichita Falls (Edit: Oh, and Lubbock). All the other provisos mentioned above such as carrying PPE and making reservations still apply, but such a route might be a little more relaxing and bring you into contact with fewer people.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 05-21-2020 at 10:45 AM.

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