By: Caroline Larson
Summer is just around the corner, and people are ready to pack for vacation. However, with new guidelines and the Covid vaccine, airlines might limit your opportunities to travel outside of the country. “Covid-19 has made traveling really difficult over the past year,” Ms. Howe, an English teacher at Eisenhower, expressed to The Squire. “Although it is becoming better, as some places are allowing proof of a negative Covid test or vaccination for traveling.” Ms. Howe, an avid traveler, has also wanted to visit Greece to see the historical sights and stay at one of the islands. “I will get there some day, but it will have to be once traveling [out of the US] that far is a little more feasible.” While trying to keep safe during these difficult times, families can plan a car trip or even a Covid safe trip throughout the United States.
Planning fun trips or a one-day activity might not be as impossible as you think it may be. The first thing to consider is whether you want to spend your time alone or with friends. Consider the area you are going to be travelling to and if your friends or family are available. “I think overall it is more fun to travel with others, but, when doing so, I still like sneaking away a little bit and finding some of my own time in the new place I’m exploring,” Ms. Howe explained about whether she preferred to travel alone or in a group. If you are planning a longer trip, make sure you book hotel rooms or places to rest in advance. It is also important to pack comfortable clothing that are appropriate to your adventure. “It is so important that you have comfortable shoes for any kind of walking, hiking, or sightseeing you may be doing,” Ms. Howe noted.
If you’d like to stay a little closer to home, Pennsylvania has good options that you can go visit. Pittsburgh and Erie are good for one day or overnight stays. Erie offers the Erie Zoo and all-day shopping with friends and family. You can also visit the Erie Sea Wolves or take a visit to Presque Isle park and relax on the beach. If you want to take the drive to Pittsburgh, baseball fans can go visit the famous PNC Park where the Pirates defend their turf. Those are not the only two options, however. If you’re a fan of the show The Office, Scranton is the best place to go. Not only is it dedicated to the famous television series, but it also offers Lake Scranton, where you can take a stroll around or swim in during the summer.
If you’re looking to go a little further south into Pennsylvania, Brandywine Valley, located at the Pennsylvania-Delaware border, is a 19-mile road trip that takes you through the historical Brandywine River. Plan a night’s stay at one of the Brandywine resorts that sit by the river and give views of nature around you.
Pennsylvania’s neighbor, Ohio, also offers some great trip plans. In Cleveland, you can visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or even head to Cincinnati to visit the Cincinnati zoo. Two hours up north in New York, you can take a day trip with friends or family to see the Niagara Falls.
The United States also offers great road trip opportunities as well. Route 66 is a perfect opportunity to drive across the U.S. while also visiting historical places. Starting in Chicago, Illinois, you will pass through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finish in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, California. Historically, you can also partake in the drive from Seneca Falls, New York down to Nashville, Tennessee. This route takes you on the path of the Women’s Suffrage Movement and to the state that played a pivotal role in the US’s 19th amendment.
Remember, making memories is always the best part when spending your summer traveling. “One of my favorite vacation memories is when I was in Barcelona, Spain, walking through the Gothic Quarter,” Ms. Howe stated. “As I rounded a corner, I heard several familiar voices say, ‘Ms. Howe!’ The students from Eisenhower and I ended up on the same random street in Barcelona at the same exact moment! It was so fun and exciting to run into students and see them exploring Europe for the first time.”
Even if it is a night by the fire after a long day of kayaking or a month’s trip traveling on Route 66, spending time and making memories with those you love is always rewarding. Make sure to stay safe this summer while enjoying your time to the fullest.