Precautions to take while planning road trip during pandemic

MIAMI – When the 2020 pandemic first began, summer travel plans across the country were canceled or postponed. But in recent weeks, two-thirds of Americans are now planning to travel more, but their journeys may be a bit different.

When it came to planning their family summer vacation this year, Matt Rubino and his wife Cynthia decided that renting a recreational vehicle was the smart way to go.

“We can socially distance, we won’t be in hotels or on planes,” Rubino said.

They thought they were set by going to a website that links interested renters with private party RV owners.

“And 48 hours before we were set to leave I got a text from the owner saying the AC broke and we would not be able to get the RV,” Rubino said.

Hospitality attorney Ben Wolkov said while renting an RV through what he calls “peer-to-peer” companies can offer travelers more options and flexibility, there are risks.

“The downside is with these peer-to-peer companies, which are really brokers, is that you don’t have much protection,” Wolkov said.

Even traveling by car can be tricky this summer, he said. 

Hotels might be limiting guests, rest areas may be closed and crossing into certain states may expose travelers to self-quarantine rules.

“So you really need to map out your trip carefully,” Wolkov said.

Rubino and his family ultimately found an RV from a local company that specializes in recreational vehicle rentals so their vacation was not ruined.

From horseback riding to white-water rafting and stopping at campsites along the way, it became a vacation to remember.

“Everything we did turned out in the end to be amazing and we’ll do it again for sure,” Rubino said.

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