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After adjusting from working from home and homeschooling all spring, the first week when school was officially done we decided it was time for a socially distanced vacation! We scoured deals and current safety regulations in the area we wanted to travel to and decided to head to the beach. It was just what we needed as a family to get some space away and reconnect to the ocean. And we absolutely had way too much fun together!
I had a lot of questions on what it was like to travel on our first post-pandemic road trip. Obviously, things are ever-changing so I suggest researching as much as you can when planning a trip. BTR is our planner and figured everything out to make sure our trip was easy and stress-free on the drive down, living at the beach for a week, and then getting back home.
For the drive down we pre-planned our stops: where we would eat, use restrooms, and get gas. We used two rest stops for bathroom breaks and were very impressed with how clean they were and we always wore our masks when going inside somewhere. Our first rest stop even had an old rocket from NASA that the boys thought was the coolest thing ever!
As you know we love Phillips 66 and their convenient app that allows us to pay at the pump and limit contact with surfaces. You can even use Mobile Pay inside the store. Plus when you use the Phillips 66 app for Mobile Pay you can save 15 cents per gallon!*
*Legal disclaimer: 15 cents off per gallon (up to 30 gallons) per fill-up at participating Phillips 66 locations through 9/30/2020.
To maximize our time in our condo and at the beach, we left at 3 am to drive straight through to avoid any overnight stops along the way. We packed breakfast for the car (and a million more snacks). We stopped for lunch on the way down and had a little parking lot picnic to eat and stretch our legs. We pulled out our beach chairs and had an extra bag of disposable utensils and supplies to make eating easier without going in anywhere!
We arrived just in time for check-in to get the condo set up and head to the beach! We actually stayed in this same condo building last year, so we were very comfortable staying there again because we were familiar with the area and knew what to expect since there were so many other unknown variables this year.
Luckily we rented a condo the week everything re-opened, so no one had stayed in our unit for weeks prior. I immediately went in and spent time wiping down surfaces and doorknobs, and then we moved all our stuff in! Our first night after going down to the beach for a few hours we did take out for dinner as we hadn’t been to the store yet.
We did bring as many groceries as possible from home that did not require refrigeration. My favorite way to pack for the beach is to fill up giant plastic totes. It makes packing super easy because they all fit in the back of the van and stack, and then it’s super easy to find everything when you arrive at your destination!
We meal planned before leaving on our trip so we were prepared when we arrived. The first morning BTR went and picked up our curbside grocery order and we were pretty much set for the week! Later that day he went to a local fish market to get all our protein for the week. We ended up eating in our condo for the rest of the trip, which was the best because then we had more time for the beach and the pool! Also, have you ever taken a 4 and a 6-year-old to a restaurant? I wouldn’t exactly call it relaxing ;)
We planned our dinners around fresh seafood, herbs, and citrus and it did not disappoint. We did street tacos and pasta dishes on alternating nights. We scheduled our meals this way so they had similar ingredients and we had to buy fewer fresh groceries. We also loaded up on easy lunches for all four of us. It truly ended up being a ton of fun cooking and eating in our condo and I think we will plan all our future trips like this!
The rest of our trip was pretty easy to social distance as we were there for the beach and the water!! Our condo came with beach service so we had an umbrella and chairs set up each morning for us in our own separate little area away from other families.
We would head to the beach midmorning and then come back for lunch a little bit of quiet time. Then we would hit the pool followed by more beach at night! I’m pretty sure that was my favorite part of every day. The beach at sunset is just so beautiful and there was pretty much no one left on the beach at that point in the day. The boys played in the surf catching all the sea life and BTR and I would lounge and have a cocktail together!
We truly had the best time as a family at the beach and it was everything we needed and more after a few hard months.
On the way back we followed pretty much the same protocol as the way there. Rest stops, parking lot picnics, and filling up our tank at Phillips 66 using Mobile Pay!
Overall we felt very safe traveling and following all of the same social distancing protocols we were doing at home. For our sanity,
The change of pace was the perfect getaway and way to celebrate all the boys had accomplished in the school year. And that BTR and I survived being at home with them for 100+ days straight. ;)
When anyone asks advice on traveling right now I tell them that you have to do what you feel comfortable with. Do all your research and plan as much as you can ahead of time. And then hopefully you’ll have as much fun at the beach as we did.