A new year brings new opportunities and a new calendar to fill up!
While most of 2020 was filled with close getaways and road trips, I do believe 2021 will be too… at least the beginning. So, these trip ideas keep distance in mind to keep you and your family safe.
Going into 2021, we will still need to be careful when traveling. We must wear our masks, sanitize our hands, and check for openings. Keep in mind, a lot of people just like you and me are going to be thinking the same thing, so there will no doubt be a lot to consider – i.e., gasoline prices will most likely rise (they already are in my neck of the woods), car rentals may be full, hotel rooms booked up, and your favorite destination may not be completely opened.
But a well-planned road trip could be just the thing you and your family need to take a break from the same old scenes you’ve been surrounded by lately.
1. Camp in the Great Outdoors in Texas
It’s a great time to love the outdoors, and a road trip into nature can heal a soul and make one happy. Tent camping is a great way to do just that, but if you want amenities while you appreciate the great outdoors, consider renting a cabin in the woods. That’s exactly what we did in East Texas. After doing it once, my son and I couldn’t wait to go camping in a tiny modern cabin in the woods again.
2. Head to the Mountains of New Mexico
When I think of the mountains, Chama, New Mexico comes to mind. Maybe because I’ve been there a couple of times. The town is an easy drive, about an hour north from Santa Fe. I’ve heard a time or two that Chama is New Mexico’s best-kept secret, and I believe it. The last time we were there was the summer of 2019 when we did a few outdoor activities at our friend’s ranch house.
Even though the famous (and popular) Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is located in Chama, it’s still an area you might not think about when planning a vacation, but I’d think again. The mountains are gorgeous, it’s quiet there, and nature is all around to enjoy. Plus, there are plenty of outdoorsy things to do, like fly fishing, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. You’ll find several places to rent right on the river. It’s a great location for anyone researching road trip ideas for 2021.
3. Spend a Weekend Off-Grid in the Rockies
If you’re looking for road trip ideas that also check off bucket list items, head to an abandoned ghost town in Rocky Mountain National Park that encompasses a 7.5-mile round-trip hiking trail. Depending on when you go, you’ll find lush forests and calming meadows along the Colorado River. Anywhere in the Rockies is splendid and worth checking out. Find out when the off-season is, grab your tent, and plan for that. Just make sure you go prepared for being off-grid.
4. Travel to Alaska in Off-Season
Consider visiting Alaska in May when temperatures are rather mild (for Alaska), yet unparalleled beauty still exists. May is when winter activities have shut down for the season and summer attractions haven’t yet started. We went at this time years ago to visit friends, not knowing that nothing was opened, but our trip was still amazing. We visited with our friends, then went on a road trip to Seward where we rented a quaint cabin close to the water. Most restaurants were open then (some weren’t), and there were plenty of places to stay that stays open year-round. It was quiet, not too many tourists, but we didn’t go there to be in crowds.
Something else to consider, too; bears are out of hibernation at this time, and it’s also mating season for them. So, it’s likely you will see a black bear or two. Seeing wild animals such as a black bear or a moose makes my vacation complete. That’s one of the main reasons I love to explore Alaska.
5. Take to the Roads of the Midwest
Half of the top 10 states are located in the Midwest, notably for having outstanding outdoor adventures and beautiful cliffs and canyons. If you plan a road trip vacation in the Midwest, think Michigan, Illinois, or Ohio for calming walks in the woods or gandering at the birds flying over the many lakes of the region.
Here’s to a wonderful new year and to these top travel road trip ideas for 2021—make it your best!