Traveling During a Pandemic

Woman (Colorado Martini) standing in Oregon Trail ruts outside of Guernsey Wyoming

We are asked a lot, how do you afford to travel so much? How are you traveling during the Covid outbreak?

  • Simply we waited until things opened up again.
  • We stay close to home.
  • We are only doing road trips to sparsely populated places.
  • We keep to ourselves and do not socialize with others.
  • And most importantly, we stay in places where we have more control over our health; that goes beyond masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and social distancing.

Here are five tips on how we save money and can afford to take so many road trips. And how we safely & hygienically travel during a time of our lives when illness and disease is at everyone’s doorstep.

Don’t miss our video: 4 Things to do on the Oregon Trail in Eastern Wyoming

Don’t miss our video: “We Found A 1890 Ghost Town in the Black Hills.”

Oregon Trail Wagon Ruts State Park all by ourselves . Sandstone which has been cut deep by thousands of wagons and carts traveling through

1. Take Cleaning Product, Towels & Bedding

For years I have taken sanitary wipes and small bottles of Lysol™ with us on trips. Before the Corona Virus pandemic, hotels were Petri dishes to me. I would enter the room first and wipe everything down. Especially the door knobs, remote control, bathroom facet, and light switches. As everyone was unpacking, I would spray down the toilet with Lysol™. And we always brought our own pillows.

Now with the outbreak of Covid-19, I have taken a different approach. I will not stay in a hotel room, unless there are no other options. And it has to be a motel. Because you can drive right up to your room’s door. Which means, I don’t have to traverse a hallway or lobby to exit or enter the building.

Do not miss watching our video:
5 Road Trip Hacks For Sanitary & Cheap Travel

Watch how we save money and stay safe from Covid on our road trips

Mostly we have been staying in KOA cabins (Kampgrounds of America). If you not familiar with KOA, they are an international franchise of campgrounds in the United States and Canada. They have tent and RV sites; along with cabins. Some KOAs have more than others. But the cabins range from one to two room, no bathroom cabins. To deluxe cabins with living rooms, master room, bathrooms, and kitchenettes. It all depends on the KOA. And KOA is not the only game in town when it comes to these same affordable cabins.

Sign saying Carlsbad KOA with cactus, coyote, and cactus. Reads Carlsbad KOA
Carlsbad, New Mexico KOA in March. Great while visiting the Carlsbad Caverns or Roswell, New Mexico

Once the quarantine was lifted, we have been staying in less populated KOAs. And it has been wonderful. We have been occupying mostly one room cabins without bathrooms. The beds are rubber, so they can be easily cleaned by you. And there are not many surfaces to harbor the bacteria.

Staying in the smaller cabins at KOAs has allowed us to bring our own bedding and towels. In addition, KOAs have laundry rooms for any laundry we need to do.

Sunset view of sky. Cabin is in silhouette.
Sunset view from our Carlsbad, New Mexico cabin

KOA is coming into the shared bathrooms several times a day to clean. Which is more than you would get in a hotel. Although KOA is doing a great job at cleaning. I still bring my own cleaning products. Everything from laundry soap to spray alcohol. And when I am in the shared bathrooms, I wear a mask, line the toilet with tissue and wash my hands for more then 30 seconds. I also take a paper towel with me so I can open doors, handles, and turn on the facet without touching the surfaces.

To see all the produces I pack. Don’t miss our “5 Road Trip Hacks For Sanitary & Cheap Travel” video. Click Here to watch video

► See our tour video on the Guernsey Oregon Trail wagon ruts: Click Here
► Location of Colorado Martini KOA Wyoming trips on the map: Click here

Man sitting at KOA cabin. Picnic bench and BBQ grill is in front of cabin. Other cabins to the right.
KOA two room cabin in Sheridan, Wyoming.

2. Bring Your Own Food

The other great thing about staying in a KOA cabin or any other campground cabin, is bringing your own food. When we first starting travel again. Many of the restaurants were still closed. So when staying in a hotel or motel, it was hard to find anything to eat outside of a grocery store. Not to mention going into these place, you are exposed to the public. And we want to keep our distance. So the best thing to do was to bring our own food.

I spend a lot of time before a trip preparing food to take and freeze. Things that could be warmed up in a microwave or cooked on a grill or fire pit.

I make things little omelette style egg cups, that I call egg bite. They are great cold or warmed up in a microwave. You can make them with all sorts of meats, vegetables, and cheese. You can easily make some for that diary-free or vegetarian family member. You can freeze them ahead of time. And pack them just before leaving. See recipe below.

Hand pulling up one of Colorado Martini's Egg Bites from a muffin pan full of other egg bites.
Colorado Martini’s Egg Bites

Pamela’s Products Artisan Blend Flour Gluten Free
Our favorite brand

I also usually will make some type of muffin. I will make gluten-free and regular. I am gluten-free, and finding bread products on the road is most difficult. I like making corn muffins. Because they hold up the best while traveling. See my recipe for my Honey Butter Corn Muffins below. Note the honey butter is baked right into muffin. And there is no need to butter them on the road. See recipe below.

hand holding Colorado Martini's Honey Butter Corn Muffins. Other muffins in background on rack
Colorado Martini’s Honey Butter Corn Muffins with gluten-free option

I also love to make chili. Because it is easy to warm up. And great with hot dogs that we cook over the open fire pit. It freeze well before a trip. And the containers can be place into the ice cooler frozen. See recipe below.

I also bring an arrange of sandwich meats, breads and hot dogs. Getting the pre-shaped hamburger patties are prefect for the road. Then you don’t have to deal with it at the campsite. We cook those over the grill.

To cook or warm all this we invested in a microwave, small gas grill, and grills that can go over the fire pit. See what we use below.

To see all the produces and food I pack. Don’t miss our “5 Road Trip Hacks For Sanitary & Cheap Travel” video. Click Here to watch video

3. Bring Snacks and Coffee

Snacks and coffee are expensive on the road. So not only do we bring tons of healthy snacks. But we bring our own coffee maker.

We love Trader Joe’s™ products. They have the best flavor of nuts. And are a heather option. But not everyone has a Trader Joe’s near them. So we found what we use online. See our favorites below.

We also invested in a 5-cup coffee maker. This has saved us a lot of money. We are in area where there is no coffee houses. Or we are up too early for the campground market to be open. So this has been a great option for us. This is what we us:

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Snack and Food We Love to Take

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Click for Recommended book: Oregon Trail Road Trip Book

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Recipes From Our Video
5 Road Trip Hacks For Sanitary & Cheap Travel

Colorado Martini’s Honey Cornbread muffins (Wheat-free)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit / 205 Celsius .
  2. Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter, and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
  3. Place muffin paper liners into a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers. Fill about ½ full. ¾ full for bigger muffins. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. Makes 12-14 muffins.

Colorado Martini’s Chili

  • 5 slices bacon
  • 8 oz Italian Sausage
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 2 med onions
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1-2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 jalapenos or Pablano pepper, seeded and chopped (Click here to find)
  • 1 T chili powder
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 T oregano
  • 2 ½ C water
  • 1-12 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 -16 oz can pinto beans drained (optional)
  • 1 C Frozen corn kernels (optional)

  1. Cook sausage and bacon well. 
  2. Drain, but save 2 T of the dripping and leave in the pan with meat. 
  3. Add to cooked meat the beef, onions, green peppers, and garlic.  Then add rest but beans or corn.
  4. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours (2 hours if not using beans).  Stir occasionally. 
  5. Stir in beans (optional) and corn. Simmer covered for additional 30 minutes.

Colorado Martini’s Camping Egg Bites

  • 24 large eggs (2 dozen)
  • ½ cup of milk (omit if diary-free)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning (optional)
  • Choose different breakfast meats (omit if vegetarian)
    • Chorizo, breakfast sausage, bacon, ham, leftover meat chopped
  • Choose different vegetables
  • Cheddar cheese sliced and broken up (omit if diary-free), better in chucks
  • Oil for lining pan. I prefer coconut oil. It gives it a wonderful sweet flavor

  1. Beat seasonings, eggs and milk together in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer will make a fluffier egg bite. Set aside
  2. For a great flavor sauté vegetable. Browning them will give them a great flavor. Set aside.
  3.  In a separate pan cook crumbled or chopped meat. If you are using ham, you do not have to cook it first. But browning it in butter gives it a wonderful flavor.
  4. Line cupcake pan with thin coat of oil. Again I love coconut oil for this.
  5. Add your choice of meat and/or veggies to the bottom of each cupcake cup. Fill about ½ full. Add cheese on top if using cheese. Chucks of cheese are better than shredded.
  6. With a ladle, add egg mixture to each cup. Until completely full.
  7. Liquid can sometimes boil over. So I suggest you put a large piece of foil down to keep your oven clean. Cook in 350 Fahrenheit / 175 Celsius oven for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Then remove egg bits from pan to cooling rack.

Once completely cooled, add to a zip lock bag by separating layers with wax paper. Make sure that the bag is flat for storing optimization. Add a couple of paper towels to absorb the moisture. Push out all the air and completely seal. You can keep in refrigerator until trip. We freeze ours for trips. Then grab it out of the freezer just as we are packing our cooler.

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