In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, families are finding ways to have fun safely — whether that's buying games to play at home with their quaranteam or taking the family road trip they always talked about. For Kristen Bell, Dax Shepherd, and their two daughters, Delta and Lincoln, making the most of quarantine means having picnics and pitching tents in their backyard and the suburban alley near their house, the actress told Travel + Leisure. And when that gets a little routine, the family of four leaves the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles behind and travels to surrounding cities.
Bell and another family have created a pod, meaning the two groups take road trips together and visit cities a few hours away from LA. So far, they've visited Lake Arrowhead, Indio, Fallbrook, and Temecula, all new spots for them, Bell told the publication. Driving to these surrounding cities has allowed the families to take a break from reality and safely find a change of scenery during the pandemic, while also supporting local businesses in the places they visit. "It has been such a saving grace, and also knowing you're putting a little bit of money into the economy, sort of keeping things moving and having a great time with your family," she said.
To make the most of their road trips, Bell searches for the perfect Airbnb: one that'll comfortably fit everyone and inspires her a little, Travel + Leisure reported. For example, the house that the traveling pod stayed in when they visited Lake Arrowhead was a 100-year-old mansion with places to crawl through to other rooms and trapdoors. When they went to Indio, they took a more private approach and stayed in a house that's sometimes used as a wedding venue. "It had little rooms situated outside around a little community swimming pool that all the apartment areas could use," she told the publication.
Though Bell's been able satisfy her desire to visit new places in more creative ways since the pandemic began, she's eager for her post-COVID travel plans. Her first stop will be Michigan to visit her family and then her next girls' trip, a tradition that started when she was wrapping the last episode of The Good Place in Paris and Greece, Travel + Leisure reported. She asked two of her fellow mom friends if they wanted to explore Europe together, and they agreed. "We wore matching Suzie Kondi terry cloth sweatsuits," Bell told the publication. "We had the freaking time of our lives." And thus began the tradition of their girls' trips across Europe. "We come back from those trips having seen the world, having felt like autonomous women, so invigorated, and much happier to be with our families," she added. "It's a game-changer when you have great travel buddies."
Until international travel and flying is completely safe again, road tripping to places around the United States that you've always wanted to see can be a fun alternative. Like Bell, you can even find a travel pod, who have been quarantining the same way you have, and explore the cities around you from the safety of your car or a charming Airbnb. And of course, take your masks!
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