The classic road trip is not only the most affordable way to enjoy a family vacation, it may also be the healthiest for those who want to maintain some degree of social distancing as they travel.

As people stay closer to home, some prefer to visit places they can drive to within a day. If you live in the Pacific Northwest then the Willamette Valley, Oregon may be your ideal destination.

When looking at Willamette Valley locations, Corvallis is a great place to visit due to the beautiful natural surroundings, an abundance of outdoor activities, and relatively uncrowded areas. It is simply a fabulous place to visit or spend quality time especially if there are any Oregon State University students or alumni in the family!

Hiking at Marys Peak Philomath

Whether your family needs to travel or you just have summer wanderlust, try these tips for a healthier road trip. Photo by Todd Cleland.

Five Tips for a Healthy and Memorable Road Trip or Vacation

1. Choose a Destination or Multiple Destinations

First, consider your destination or destinations. If you are traveling for a special purpose like to see family or friends, the choice is much easier. If you are just looking for a change of scene or the opportunity to spend quality time with family, your partner, or close friends.

As people slowly emerge from self-quarantine, many remain cautious and prefer to limit contact with others outside of their close circle. If you fit this category, consider choosing a destination that involves a pleasant drive.

Many of our vacation rental guests enjoy the central location of Corvallis since they can easily drive to Portland, Eugene, forest lands, wineries, and the beach. The city has a network of parks, hiking trailers, and mountain biking trails. There are a few golf courses ranging from very affordable to a country club facility. Spending time outside offers the opportunity for healthy recreation while physically distancing.

Corvallis Oregon is a delightful community that is also a short drive to the Oregon coast, outdoor recreation spaces, Mary’s Peak, and larger cities like Portland.

2. Plan to Enjoy the Drive

When planning a trip, one of the first decisions is whether you will fly, take the train, or drive. If you want to minimize unnecessary contact with people other than your traveling companions then a road trip might be your best bet.

Traveling with family or close friends gives you an extra chance to catch up and spend quality time together. To make the drive time a little more fun, consider some non-distracting entertainment, for example:

  • Learn a few car games like I-Spy, question games, or road trip bingo.
  • Make a fun music playlist.
  • Have an audiobook or podcast ready so you don’t burn out on talking.
  • Simply enjoy the conversation if it flows.

Plan your route so you have a chance to enjoy scenic views and other points of interest. Be careful about visiting popular tourist attractions during peak times. However scenic stops, parks, and historical sites are often not crowded and can break up the monotony of driving.

As much as possible, arrange your schedule to avoid peak travel times if waiting in traffic frustrates you. The traffic around Corvallis is usually pleasant. But otherwise, peak commuting hours may be the perfect time to visit an uncrowded park or rest stop.

With so many maps applications and Google Earth, it is easier than ever to choose a pleasant route for your trip. But if you like to keep it old-school then AAA also provides great road trip planning resources.

3. Plan Outdoor Activities

While we always urge everyone to follow the latest guidance from our public officials, personal physicians, and public health professionals. Assuming the area you are visiting is open to visitors, outdoor activities offer a safer way to enjoy quality time with your traveling companions.

Corvallis is a great town to visit for access to outdoor recreational activities including:

  • Hiking or trail walking
  • Visiting the beach
  • Visiting nearby wineries
  • Mountain biking or even casual cycling on the network of bicycle paths
  • Boating, kayaking, or canoeing on the Willamette River or Mary’s River
  • Golfing or playing tennis
  • A picnic may be a great way to enjoy your takeout meal

Visit Corvallis shares a few resources for planning to enjoy outdoor recreation in Corvallis. The Right Trail offers resources for hikers and bicyclers in the mid-Willamette Valley.

Some of the stand-alone vacation accommodations Fernwood Guest Houses offers include private outdoor spaces like backyards and gardens.

4. Eat-In or Take Out

Corvallis is home to a surprising array of restaurants and food trucks for a community of its size. In response to COVID-19, many of these restaurants ramped up their take out, delivery, and curbside pickup options. Now that restaurants are open in controlled ways, they are making efforts to follow recommended practices often exceeding required standards.

Whether you eat in or out, Fernwood Circle Guesthouse vacation rentals often include full kitchens as well as comfortable dining areas. For those who enjoy cooking, there are many quality grocery shopping options as well as an amazing Farmer’s Market that runs every Wednesday and Saturday.

With so many dining options, a vacation rental is a great place to stay in while away from home. Some of our accommodations have private yards, game rooms, or comfortable living room style spaces where you can relax streaming a film, playing a board game, or just talking into the wee hours of the night.

All Fernwood Circle Guesthouses come with a fully equipped kitchen

All Fernwood Circle Guesthouse vacation rentals include an equipped kitchen.

5. Choose Stand Alone Accommodation

Rather than stay in a hotel, a stand-alone vacation rental offers the ultimate in comfort, relaxation, and the safety of social distancing.

Each rental home has its own private entrance and its own HVAC system. Our housekeeping team thoroughly cleans each home between visitors, in fact so many of the reviews and comments left by our guests comment on the cleanliness.

Are you interested in checking availability or booking a vacation rental? Feel free to browse our available vacation rental accommodations!

Relax and spend quality time with your loved ones in a clean, premium vacation rental!