Planning a COVID-Conscious Mother-Daughter Road Trip
Planning a COVID-Conscious Mother-Daughter Road Trip
How one Solis owner and her mom adapted their travel styles to create cherished memories.
By: Lindsey Quick
My mom is my travel inspiration. She has done countless solo motorcycle trips – making her way through all of the 48 contiguous states and traversing through Canada to get to Alaska, spending nights tent camping in campgrounds (or in hotels, when she wants a little luxury). I'm not quite as adventurous as my mom – I prefer a minimum of four wheels – but I enjoy exploring places away from home.
Our COVID-Conscious Trip Logistics
We live in Minnesota, and we knew we wanted a break from the cold winter weather. So, we decided a trip to Destin, FL, was just what we needed. While COVID played a part in our planning, the adjustments we made to ensure we felt safe while creating memories together were minimal.
Travel and Sleeping Arrangements
Traveling during this pandemic, like everything else with COVID, can be controversial. All of us have different comfort levels with different activities. My mom and I knew it was important to get on the same page about how we'd handle all aspects of the trip to ensure understanding well in advance.
We decided a road trip was what felt the most comfortable to us. We agreed that we would try to limit our exposure to even each other by driving and sleeping in separate spaces. I drove my Winnebago Solis 59P, while my mom brought her small SUV. Unfortunately, her motorcycle had to stay home since it was so cold in Minnesota and across the Midwest! On the way to and from Florida, my mom stayed in hotels while my dog and I slept in the parking lot in my Solis.
In Florida, my mom had considered staying in a beachside hotel or vacation rental, but we knew that would cut into our time together. We instead found a beachside campground that allowed us to spend as much time together as possible while still sleeping separately: me in my Solis and my mom in her tent. We booked a campsite large enough for my Solis, my mom's SUV, and her tent. It was even conveniently located to the bathhouse, beach, and campground entrance/exit.
My mom and I agreed that when it came to food, we weren't comfortable with indoor dining. Instead, we chose to do a combination of bringing our own food and eating from restaurants with takeout or outdoor seating options. This gave us an opportunity to save money and eat healthier, while also tasting a few of the local cuisines.
The small-but-mighty fridge in my Solis provided plenty of storage space for meals and snacks that lasted the duration of the trip. We made one trip to a local grocery store to restock on food and drinking water, along with some aloe vera lotion to soothe a sunburn from too much time in the sun without properly applying sunscreen!
Enjoying the Journey, Despite a Few Adjustments
There were certainly aspects of our trip that were abnormal because of COVID, but having the Solis meant that, for the most part, I could travel as I normally would. The small footprint of the Solis, at just under 20 feet in length, made it possible for me to park in regular parking spaces and maneuver the roadways we encountered on our journey from Minnesota to Florida.
We also made stops in Birmingham and Montgomery, AL, to visit attractions my mom and I had on our travel wish lists. The Solis was great navigating tight city streets and parking lots to easily get to places I never would have expected an RV to access.
With the kitchen in the Solis, I prepared easy lunches for us on our travel days, saving us time as we made our way to our destination. My mom ate her food in her SUV while I ate in my Solis. We parked next to each other and opened our windows to make it easy to chat while we ate. While it wasn't the same as sitting across from her at a table, we made it work. Most of my meal-time views were in gas station and hotel parking lots, but I did get lucky with a beachside spot for a couple meals.
Once in Florida, we were greeted with perfect weather. We spent most of our time exploring nearby parks and walking along the beach. On a non-pandemic trip, my mom and I would have done a considerable amount of shopping. On this trip, we agreed that we wanted to limit our time indoors as much as we could.
In the city we stayed, dogs are not allowed on the beach, so my pup Digger had to stay in the Solis whenever I wanted to walk the beaches. Because my model of the Solis doesn't have an air conditioner, I had to ensure the temps inside wouldn't get too hot for him. After opening a few windows and turning on the MaxxAir exhaust fan, temps in the Solis remained comfortable and offered protection from the sun. Digger got to spend his time people-watching while lounging on the murphy bed in complete comfort without getting sand stuck in his fur.
Final Thoughts on Our Mother-Daughter Trip
When I bought my Winnebago Solis 59P, I knew it would open up the opportunity to travel more frequently with my mom. We could both travel the way we wanted: me on four wheels in my mobile tiny home and her possibly on two wheels when the weather is motorcycle-friendly. I believe it'll also save us a few mother-daughter tiffs over our different driving habits and music selection!
While COVID changed some aspects of our trip, having the Solis made it so much easier to travel in a way that didn't feel like a compromise while exploring different parts of this beautiful country with my mom.