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  • Jordan Hinsch

The Ultimate Guide to my 2020 Road Trip During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

2020 is a year we all would like to put behind us. In the beginning of the year I had a goal to visit a new country every month, which could be relatively easy while living in Miami. This began with a trip to Dominican Republic in January and was to be followed up with a trip to Grand Cayman, and then Malta. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. All travel plans came to a halt and I began researching yet another road trip. After last year's perfect road trip, I was sure it would be my final....for a few years at the very least.

I researched several scenarios on the west coast again but I decided to focus on parks that I had not yet visited. I came up with the itinerary outlined in this post which would knock off another 8 parks to bring my total to 39 (as of July 2020).

Remember: You can create your own itinerary with Roadtrippers. Use my code: JORDINARY for a discount. Every penny earned from this website goes to creating more content.

Disclaimer: This post does not encourage travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, it just shows that it is possible.

PS: The Social Distancing Score for each stop is my opinion on the overall cooperation of guests and staff at the parks, restaurants and hotels to wear masks and socially distance each other.

Another PS: I will publish my belated 2018 and 2019 road trip recaps as well, stay tuned!

Key Road Trip Statistics

2020 Road Trip Map

July 5th, 2020

My Lodging: Hotel Indigo

Lodging Score: N/A

My Dining: Black Market Bar & Grill

Birmingham was simply a layover for me as my goal was to get as far as possible with reasonable accommodations on Day 1. It was a complete ghost town due to strict COVID-19 procedures.


July 6th, 2020

I stopped here to briefly check out the park. It was lacking activities and nearly no one was practicing social distancing, so I moved on. Hot Springs seemed like a very nice town which I would have liked to explore, so it's a shame that the implementation was so poor.

Quick Facts

  • President Andrew Jackson set aside Hot Springs as a protected area in 1832, 40 years before Yellowstone became the first national park. The land of Hot Springs was deemed a national park in 1921.

  • Hot Springs is the smallest U.S. National Park at only 5,550 acres.

  • The thermal waters of Hot Springs heat naturally to 143°F and is odorless and chemical-free.

  • Each day around 700,000 gallons of water flows from the hot springs into a reservoir system. This water is then used by the commercial bathhouses and also flows through fountains where locals can fill up their own jugs for free.

  • Baseball teams such as the Red Sox were known to visit Hot Springs for training and recovery back in the 1880s to 1940s.

  • Hot Springs was surprisingly a hotbed for organized crime from the late-1800s through the mid-1900s. Gambling, prostitution and bootlegging were common and the area was a popular hangout spot for Al Capone, Frank Costello, Bugs Moran, Lucky Luciano, and other infamous mobsters.

  • Hot Springs National Park had 1,544,300 visitors in 2016 – 218,581 more than in 2013.


My Lodging: Hammock

My Dining: Snacks and camping food