We like to travel, as you can see by browsing our site, but let's get one thing straight...we travel to have fun. If it turns out to be more of an ordeal, we'd rather skip it.
So, what about travel during this post-Covid year of record travelers to the world's destinations? I think we'll pass for this year and here's why...
It seems that everyone wants to satisfy their travel urges and want to do it right now! At the same time, airports, airlines, car rental companies, hotels, and more are having staffing shortages and trying to train new hires while this travel boom is going on.
I can't think of one friend who's traveled recently that didn't complain of long lines, serious delays, lost luggage, no car available for their reservations, and more. Add that frustration to someone who has to travel in a wheelchair and that doubles the pain.
We've already heard stories of people waiting for hours on a plane waiting for the access crew to show up and get them off. Or booked, confirmed, and guaranteed accessible hotel rooms given away to someone else before you showed up (this has happened to us several times in the last couple of years).
Let's also add to the equation that we're experiencing the highest levels of inflation in four decades plus fuel costs have skyrocketed beyond belief. Travel...in addition to being more of a pain than fun...has gotten rediculously expensive.
On the other hand, we don't want to just hunker down in our house until these hard time are over so we've come up with some other strategies, starting with finding fun things to do in our own neighborhood.
Within an hour of our home are several county fairs...Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Sacramento, and San Joaquin Counties...plus the California State Fair where we can go out and have fun in a carnival atmosphere for a day.
In addition, there are several other festivals to attend...the Ragin' Cajun Festival in Valley Springs, the Grape Festival in Lodi, the Smokechasers Fair in Plymouth, the Italian Picnic in Sutter Creek, the Homecoming Festival in our local town...where we can see great local exhibits, eat great food, and have a drink while watching a great local band (if you're counting, that's 10 weekends right there...almost enough for an entire summer).
(While we are concentrating on Northern California, you can find a fair or festival near you here)
Speaking of music, we also support local live music as much as we can. We follow local musicians on social media and find where they'll be playing...often for free (but make sure to tip your musicians)...notably a local winery, brewery, bar, restaurant, etc. This makes for a very inexepensive and fun outing.
(See Tim's take on our local music scene)
Beyond fairs, festivals, and local concerts there's always just getting outside and enjoying nature. Take a walk along the beach or go for a hike. No matter where you live, there's certain to be some public space like a state park nearby which will probably be free or have a minimal entrance fee.
(Need information on accessible hiking trails in California? Check it out at hiking at The World on Wheels)
Even with so much to do near home, we do also want to get away and see some new scenery now and then. While we'll be avoiding the crowds at major destinations and flying, we'll still do getaways. For us, in 2022, that means it's the age of the road trip.
Let's talk more about that next time.
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