RV Travel: The Romance of the Open Road
With traditional vacations on hold for now, many travellers are turning to RVing as a way to expore the scenery in their own backyard safely. Photo: Photo, franckreporter/Getty Images
Road tripping and the romance of the open road. Sigh. Each province and territory has its epic drive, and most of us have heard of the Sea-to-Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler, the Icefields Parkway in Alberta and the Cabot Trail around Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.
But the not-so-travelled but equally as beautiful, according to Destination Canada, includes the Dempster Highway in the Yukon, the Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan and the Interlake Region in Manitoba.
The Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association is also reporting that, according to the RV Business Association, North American wholesale orders for new RVs in 2021 is up approximately 20 per cent, or just over 500,000 vehicles, from 2020’s approximately 425,000.
Clearly, COVID-19 is changing the way we travel, and RV vacations are becoming more popular as a way to explore the country and avoid crowds. Considering an RV vacation?
Destination Canada advises to always be prepared by adding masks, hand sanitizer, wipes and a thermometer to your first aid kit; make sure you’re aware of your destination’s pandemic protocols; and, most importantly, be patient. Many places, from restaurants to attractions, have limited hours, revised entrance rules and practices. And while the risk of disease transmission is low in the open air, maintain physical distancing whether you’re hiking or shopping. (Check here for more)
Here are a few more tips from expert Klaus Gretzmacher, VP Tourism, at CanaDream RV:
Don’t stress Never driven an RV before? Companies such as CanaDream will set you up with the right vehicle for your party size and driving ability and walk you through every detail before you go.
Research the campsites along your route using trip planners. Go RVing Canada, the Canadian Camping and RV Council and the CanaDream Club app all cover the country extensively with vetted suggestions and itineraries, as does the Canadian Automobile Association.
Don’t drive too much Remember to stop and enjoy the more secluded spots hidden in nature. Drive three to four hours max before stopping to take in the scenery around you and going for a hike, bike, paddle or winery visit.
Rough it in luxury Open the skylight above the bed and sleep under the stars but enjoy all the comforts of home. Private kitchen, bathroom and bedroom – truly a mobile home.
Unpack only once despite visiting in multiple locations. Tip: Soft luggage is easier to store.
Pets can come, too Avoid that post-quarantine separation anxiety – and ensure the RV has air-conditioning and/or heat to keep everyone comfortable.
Plan your meals Bring along your favourite spices and condiments. Most RVs have plenty of refrigerator and freezer space; and take advantage of the beautiful spaces you’ll find yourself in by barbecuing outdoors.
Let open roads and spectacular scenery lead the way The freedom to stay as long as you like is yours.