A New California: Virtual travel and the revival of the road trip

The longing to get out of the house is perhaps stronger than ever.  The coronavirus has forced us to cancel everything from spring break travel to weekend get-aways.

For now, the only way we’re traveling is virtually.

If you haven’t already taken advantage of it, you can tour a national park online on the national park website: https://findyourpark.com/

Many zoos, aquariums, even amusement parks are offering similar live-look experiences: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams/sea-otter-cam

But travel experts agree it’s not long before the virtual trend gives way to a revival of the good-old-fashioned road trip.

“We are ready to, in fact, hit the road and get back to feeling like we have that freedom to travel how we want and when we want. The immediate desire is to keep those trips short, to keep them regional, to keep them easy, to keep them affordable,” said L.A.-based travel expert, Gabe Saglie.

Saglie says, post-COVID-19, people are going to be more inclined to road trip than fly. In fact, a recent study shows nearly 50% of people are second-guessing flights and looking at driveable trips instead.

Saglie says the Fall will be “the new Summer” and small towns in our state can expect to see a boom.

“You’ve got 840 miles of coastline, nine national parks, more than 250 state parks. These are the spaces we’re going to be gravitating toward right out of the gate where we’ll have a little more elbow room between ourselves and the traveler next to us,” Saglie said.

In other words, places that offer open space and physical distance will be very popular in our new social distancing era.

As for those flights you may have canceled, Saglie says if you were given a refund, he foresees airlines being flexible with an expiration date.

If you have any questions for Saglie, check out his website at www.gabesaglie.com.