It was in June or July when the thought of going on a real vacation started to go through our heads. There were several things we needed to consider, many of which we never had to consider on our previous trips. In short, we needed to plan a socially distanced vacation where we’d feel comfortable.
Here are the things we considered and why we ended up picking the location we did.
We have no intention of flying for leisure anytime soon. Wherever we were going, we’d need to be able to get there by car. We’re not ones for long road trips, so a reasonable one-day drive of no more than 10 hours each way was the max.
We were really trying to keep ourselves isolated and no matter how many ways hotels say that they have policies in place to protect guests, it’s a craps shoot if a particular property and the guests staying there are following the rules. Sharon initially shocked me by suggesting camping as an option but she wasn’t talking about a tent. We toyed around with renting an RV but price and availability were going to be a problem.
We did something we’ve been hesitant to do before, we rented a cabin from Airbnb. While we’re uncertain about the company due to the many complaints, it just perfectly met our needs for this trip. We’d be staying away from everyone, and have a full cabin complete with a kitchen, hot tub, fireplace, fire pit and game room.
Within a short drive of the cabin, there were plenty of things to do. There were several parks with hiking trails and activities available. We were also near a lovely little town with a main street that had shops and touristy things to do. There were many places to eat in the area that offered outdoor seating, which is a must because we’re not up to eating inside at any restaurant yet.
As I mentioned when talking about hotels, there’s no way to know how the other visitors or the locals working at the establishments will be behaving. Will people be observing distancing guidelines? What about mask-wearing?
We decided ahead of time that we’d avoid any situation where we felt uncomfortable because of the actions of others. That’s why having a cabin was ideal for this trip. Even if we decided to spend the whole time indoors, we could cook our own meals and keep ourselves occupied playing games, watching TV, or just looking out the windows.
When looking at several options and talking to some friends in the area, we came up with a location for our trip.
Helen is a small town in northern Georgia, located on the Chattahoochee River. While we had never heard about before doing research for this trip, many of our friends had and some even visited there this year. In the 1970s, Helen decided to remake itself as a Bavarian alpine town, rebuilding all of the structures. All buildings have to adhere to this code, even the local Wendy’s. The town was cute and contained everything you’d expect from somewhere designed around attracting tourists.
Our cabin was located a bit out of town, on the edge of the Unicoi State Park. We had to drive a few miles up a gravel road to get to it but it was worth it.
I’ll give more information about the area, what we did during our trip, what things we’d change, and the ones that turned out perfectly.
It was great to be able to get away for a long weekend again. We took our level of risk tolerance into account and planned a trip that worked for us at that moment. It’s not a trip we’d usually take but it was nice to get to experience a place we’d never heard about and probably never wouldn’t if it hadn’t been for the #coronacrapola.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary