Disclosure: We were provided a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Media loan. All opinions are honest and belong to us. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Road Trips are the number one way to travel right now and it is of no surprise. Pretty much everyone has cabin fever and is dying to get out for some adventure. No one predicted that we would quarantine in place for over 3 months with no real end in sight. Family road trip planning is very different now as we have new things to consider.
Road Trip Planner
Do you remember when you could just pull out a map or google a destination and hit the road? It seems like it has been forever since we've hopped in the car and on a spontaneous trip. Now I have to research every destination and ask my travel friends if they've visited recently because travel restrictions are changing daily. The health and welfare of my family are always my number one concern. I have been on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website more than I care to admit confirming details that I find related to coronavirus is various states.
Grab Those Road Trip Essentials
A thermometer should always be on hand these days. While temperature checks are not 100% effective in identifying Coronavirus it is a great way to monitor health. A raised temperature is often an indication that the body is trying to fight off something. The travel first aid kit recently received an upgrade and is always close at hand.
Face mask are the latest must have accessory that you can't leave home without. I kept several reusable ones in the car and wash them as needed.
Coronavirus Travel Kit. Yeah I made that up but I bet you will not leave home without one. I was already a germaphobe and traveled with natural cleansers but I had to step it up a notch. My basket is filled with items to sanitize and wipe whatever services we might touch.
Healthy road trip snacks are a must to avoid unnecessary stops along the way. We start each day with an immune boosting smoothie so that we stay full longer. Include safe rest stops in your road trip plan. We decided to order curbside from Panera and find a outside area to dine. We cranked up the tunes on our road trip playlist and enjoyed the beauty of nature. Luckily sitting in the Toyota RAV4 trunk area was easy.
Bringing along your favorite insulated cups helps you do your part to save the environment by eliminating waste but be mindful that many places will not refill drinks directly to your personal cup. Grab a gallon jug of water and freeze it before the trip so you have cold drinks on hand.
Road trip weather can change at the blink of an eye so make certain to pack items such as blankets or a lightweight jacket so the temperature doesn't have to be a deterrent.
Things to Do on a Road Trip
Our road trip took us to Baltimore Maryland. There are lots of things to see in Baltimore but often avoiding crowds is not easy. We visit the Maryland area often as it is a quick an easy drive. I can pretty much estimate the gas mileage used. One of my favorite features of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is the gas mileage. It literally uses no gas which helps save money. We selected some quick stops that would limit interacting with people being mindful that the hours of operation for most places were limited.
Graffiti alley was pretty cool to see. This hidden gem in an urban alley of Baltimore showed the expressive creations of local street artist. In cities such as Philly and Chicago, graffiti is illegal and the artist can be levied a heavy fine or face jail time but Baltimore has turned what was a drug ridden alley into something colorful.
Murals are placed throughout the city with inspiring words for all. And Baltimore has some really great museums and places to stop to and learn some history. The Reginald Lewis museum is a big favorite of mine to celebrate African American history. It is currently closed but you can take a virtual tour. The Port Discovery museum elicits great memories of when my children were young explorers.
We hoped to grab a quick bite at Teavolve but they were already in the process of closing when we arrived so dinner at Southern Blues was a close second with no complaints. It is important that we support black owned businesses whenever possible and Baltimore has lots to choose from.
Where to Stay?
Honestly I was nervous about spending the night in a hotel and initially considered canceling. It made sense to stay as my daughter had an early morning lacrosse game and this would give her added time to sleep. With no 5 star hotels in close vicinity of the game location we chose to stay at Holiday Inn Express. Prior to arriving I called to find out about the coronavirus procedures and if they booked to capacity. I was pleased with the answers.
We arrived early to check in and the hotel was very clean with staff constantly cleaning. I requested a new linen that arrived within minutes and housekeeping asked if I needed help after they saw me spraying and cleaning. The rooms are generally left unoccupied for 24 hours prior to your arrival and there was signage throughout to remind you to social distance
Crossover SUVs are popular not only because they pack a lot into a small size but the price point is appealing. The Toyota RAV4 base price is just under $28K and the Hybrid model starts at $34K.
Standard equipment includes the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine with electronic on-demand all wheel drive, LED projector headlights, power lift gate, and Toyota safety sense. The RAV4 is is the only hybrid crossover in its class and this appealed to me as an eco-friendly family. 40 MPG means that we will save money at the gas pumps.
We drove the XSE AWD model with optional equipment that included the weather package, premium audio dynamic navigation, and technology parking (front and rear parking assist)
My Favorite Features
Plug and go with my iPhone and wireless charging.
That blue color is mesmerizing. I know you should not purchase based not the color alone but that blue print just screamed luxury. The trim was an added bonus and it didn't hurt that it match my favorite sapphire Tieks.
Tech for all. The JBL speakers, the 8″ touchscreen and 4 USB charge ports kept everyone entertained.
Legroom means that my almost 6ft children had no issues sitting in the back seat. And the center console held their drinks out of the way.
The performance and handling made my ride so much more enjoyable. The Toyota RAV4 hugged each curb. You rarely expect great performance in a hybrid vehicle.
If you’re in the market for a compact or crossover SUV, definitely test-drive the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. For frequent weekend travelers, the RAV4 Hybrid makes an awesome family road trip vehicle.