Yeah, Hot Girl Summer isn’t canceled. It just looks different. I think at this point we are all looking for a little getaway. The girls at The Fat Girls Guide had so many 2020 travel plans but here we are making the best out of it – right Amanda?
As the nights get longer and flights get cheaper, while hotels open up — I find myself saying “Where can I travel safely during COVID?” This is where I started thinking, it’s not WHERE can I go, it’s WHAT can I do? Coronavirus may have had us stay at home, but the year of road-tripping and alternative experiences is upon us. It’s the new normal y’all!
Even better, road trips means:
- No seat belt extender needed.
- Cheaper travel costs.
- No flight anxiety wondering if you’ll fit in the seats.
- No having to unpack your carry-on going through security because you forgot to pull out your 3 oz. liquid foundation.
- Better for the environment (if they are shorter trips).
6 Fat-Girl-Friendly COVID travel ideas
I’ve always believed in local travel, backyard adventures, and exploring close to home. In fact, back in October I shared how to have the Halloween experience without venturing too far from home. So while hot-girl-summer, as it was known in 2019, is no more. We can still create amazing memories with a little creativity.
1. Roadside Camping Tour
This idea is for my outdoorsy girls. One Valentines day I planned a two-week road trip with overnights in four national parks in California. Starting in San Diego and going all the way up to Yosemite. However, logic then kicked in and I accepted that camping in winter probably isn’t smart for someone who requires a shower, air bed, and a separate tent for changing in.
National Parks in the US are still undergoing a phased approach for opening. But now that the weather has warmed up, look into roadside first-come-first serve spots and neighborhood local camping parks. Each city and state openings will vary — find a park.
2. Michelin Food Tour
Did you know the Michelin food guide was originally created by, yes, the Michelin tire company to get more people to take road trips? Freaking genius. Let’s buy into that shtick by doing a food tour!
Many restaurants have been doing to-go for months now, and in phase three of re-opening. Despite the fact that COVID-19 still running rampant in the U.S., restaurants are accepting reservations for outdoor and revamped indoor seating.
Michelin’s food guide allows you to search for restaurants near you and sort by Take Away (aka Take out) so you can be bougie without all the pre-COVID hype and hassle. Enjoy your fancy food in a nearby park, overlooking the water at the beach, or even near historic landmarks to make yourself feel cultured AF.
3.Hidden “insert city” Tour
Southern California is blessed with so many oddities. Almost every city has a “Hidden” Facebook page dedicated to small obscure hidden things that tourists would never go looking for, nor locals. The key to a good Coronacation is to literally walk the path least traveled. The less people who know about it, the better.
My mom bought me the book Atlas Obscura for my birthday a few years ago and it has helped me find cool, strange, and off-the-beaten path adventures all over the world. They also have a version for the baby traveler in your life!
Hidden California is one of my favorite resources when I want to explore.
4. Rent a Beach House
Renting a beach house is kind of a workaround if your states beaches are still closed. Technically, in Southern California, beaches are “open” but you can’t lounge on the sand. You either need to be in the water or actively exercising along the beach. Both things I’m not 100% committed to doing.
My suggested workaround, rent a beach house for the weekend. Yes, it’s expensive but if you and a few trusted friends go in on it together it can be very affordable. Enjoy easy access to the beach, tan on your balcony, have all the beachy goodness without breaking the law.
If the beach isn’t available to you, use vacation rental sites or Airbnb to find a mansion near you with a pool! Check the travel ordinances in the city you are looking to visit before you book. I tried doing this for Memorial Day but, at the time, they were only allowing essential workers to isolate using Airbnb in Palm Springs.
5. Visit a Ghost Town
I swear every state or country has some disastrous city that is now abandoned. You know the ones, where some billionaire thought he could build his own mini Las Vegas but ran out of money and decided to jump ship? Find the one closest to you and do a photo shoot with a friend or just explore the ruins.
No abandoned cities near you? I bet there’s a “haunted” house or building in the woods with an urban legend you can explore.
If you are in the US, you can start with this interactive map of abandoned ghost towns.
6. Get into Nature for a Photo Shoot
I grew up in a pretty suburban area where all the strip malls looked the same. As a result, my friend and I would take my DSLR out into the pockets of SeaTac that often were hangout spots for teenagers and not known by the internet.
I actually sprained my ankle on this hike^
I’m shocked at the stuff I did as a teenager that could have easily led me to fall to my death or be kidnapped. But here I am still alive and kicking. Getting out in nature to do a photo shoot allowed my friends and I to find things like:
- A hidden beach we had to repel down a rope and over a rickety broken bridge to get to.
- A treehouse that overlooked the Tacoma, WA shipyards.
- An abandoned farm house off a trail.
In March, when COVID-19 started shutting the USA down, I mentally prepared myself to wait it out at home for two weeks. Telling myself “If everyone just stayed home we’ll eradicate this virus and go back to our normal lives of planning trips, visiting friends, “catching flights not feelings.” Two weeks came and went and we are still not traveling. In fact, most of us are barely ordering to-go food. Here we are in June, and the tingling feeling to hop on a plane and go ANYWHERE is stronger than ever.
The goal should be visit places NO ONE is going to. Wear your mask, stay 6-feet apart, respect nature, and wash your hands regularly. Happy road trippin!
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