While counties implement reopening plans, there are ways to enjoy an early summer vacation and stay at a safe physical distance.
With a little planning, people can take a vacation while practicing social distancing.
With Memorial Day weekend unofficially kicking off summer and vacation sites reopening, most people want to stay home, travel experts say. The main reason is the difficulty keeping a physical distance from others and the feeling that destinations may not be safe yet.
North State residents are planning vacations and rebooking canceled trips for next year, and staying home for now, said travel agent Janette Webber at Avanti Travel in Redding.
Instead people are staying home, preferring to take day trips.
It’s a national trend, American Automotive Association (AAA), spokesman Sergio Avila said. While the number of Memorial Day weekend travelers in 2019 was the second highest recorded in 20 years, 2020 was expected to set a record low, such that AAA did not release its annual travel forecast.
Here are three vacations ideas, close to home, that allow for social distancing.
1. Book a cabin in the woods.
Some parks now accept reservations for secluded cabins, many of which have kitchens and beds. Others are sparse, designed for indoor camping.
Cabins are available in Shasta-Trinity National Forest, although “we do recommend people recreate locally” for now, park spokeswoman Carol Underhill said. Locations include Hayfork, McCloud, Mt. Shasta and Shasta Lake areas.
Bear Basin Butte Lookout in Six Rivers National Forest; Pierson Cabin near Gasquet houses one to 12 people, starting at $75 per night.
See a list of park sites with cabins at https://www.recreation.gov/ to see a map of sites or make reservations, or call 877-833-6777.
Some private cabin rentals are also taking reservations.
In Siskiyou County, the Mount Shasta Resort (926-3030, www.mountshastaresort.com) opens June 15. It rents lakeside chalets, with private decks and full kitchens. Some are pet-friendly. There’s a golf course and hiking and biking trails. Cost starts at $189 per night.
In Trinity County, Ripple Creek Cabins in Trinity Center (266-3505, www.ripplecreekcabins.com) is open now, with cabins with kitchens at $138 per night.
Old Bridge Cabin in Lewiston (623-5213, www.oldbridgecabin.com) rents two cabins for up to eight people starting at $130.
For more cabin rentals go to https://tinyurl.com/yd49qqvj.
2. Rent a houseboat.
Vacationers can pack food and camp bedding to stay on a houseboat, or rent a boat with a small kitchen and beds on board.
These houseboat rentals have openings in June:
In Shasta County, Bridge Bay at Shasta Lake (275-3021, bridgebayhouseboats.com) is taking reservations for houseboats starting at $950.
Jones Valley Resort in Redding (833) 474-2782 , https://houseboats.com/jones-valley-houseboats/) has houseboats starting at $1,190 for three nights.
Holiday Harbor in O’Brien (238-2383, https://lakeshasta.com/) rents houseboats starting at $573 for two nights.
In Trinity County, Trinity Alps Marina in Lewiston (286-2282, trinityalpsmarina.com) rents houseboats from $1,285 for three nights.
3. Go RV-ing.
With an RV, travelers could take a road trip and never leave their vehicle except for gas or where social distancing is possible.
A few RV rental businesses are open, with restrictions. Redding RV Rentals in Shasta Lake (999-3927, www.reddingrvrentals.com) is booking on the phone or online only. Payment is in advance, and pickup is with one staff person to minimize contact. There’s a three-night minimum starting at $149 per night.
Search an RV renter database at Cruise America at www.cruiseamerica.com/rv-rentals.
Travel safety tips for road trips
Travel specialists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these safety tips for people hitting the road this month and in June.
Before you go, check what food services (dine-in, carry-out, etc.) are available at stops and at your destination. Some stores and restaurants have shorter hours, so call first.
Pack non-perishable food, water, hand sanitizer, soap, paper towels or wipes and rubbing alcohol.
Call ahead to make sure your hotel is open.
Avoid spots where social distancing is difficult, like picnic areas, rest stops and gas station mini marts.
Pay for gas remotely with a credit card at the pump. Make as few stops as possible for gas, food or bathroom breaks.
Park away from other vehicles.
Know how to get help if you get sick, especially in remote areas.
Clean your travel lodgings using CDC instructions: https://tinyurl.com/ycwzxjhu
Wear a face mask while hiking or biking.
Jessica Skropanic is features reporter for the Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. She covers lifestyle and entertainment stories, and weekly arts feature.