Sr. Public Aff. Specialist, CT/DE/NJ/PA
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PHILADELPHIA, PA (October 14, 2020) As Fall begins, the year of the Great American Road Trip continues with travelers planning for safe and COVID-conscious weekend getaways and day trips to catch some of autumn’s amazing colors, sometimes referred to as “leaf-peeping.” AAA Mid-Atlantic travel agents recommend reviewing a foliage map before formalizing your plans so you can see the reds, oranges and yellows at their finest. As with any decision to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, AAA Mid-Atlantic reminds travelers it’s important to take some extra safety precautions when planning a trip.
“While many people think of Maine, New Hampshire and upstate New York as the best places to view the fall foliage, nature’s show is gorgeous right here in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware,” stated Suzanne Aresco, AAA Travel. “Depending on where you live in the Delaware Valley, planning is key to ensure you enjoy fall’s colors at their peak in your region.”
Road Trip Recommendations
AAA Mid-Atlantic travel agents recommend some of the following destinations for Delaware Valley residents interested in leaf-peeping:
Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway – located in northern Delaware, this drive showcases tree-lined roads that pass magnificent country estates, beautiful gardens and quaint historic villages.
The Pocono Mountains - about a 2 hour drive from Philadelphia, it makes a perfect weekend trip. The region has many hiking trails, charming towns and fall foliage train rides.
Other notable leaf-peeping locales - Schuylkill River Trail (Philly to Phoenixville), Peddler’s Village in New Hope, Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Valley Forge National Park in KOP, Tyler Arboretum in Media and Ridley Creek State Park in Media.
“Road trips to view fall foliage allow travelers some wiggle room, especially when you aren’t sure when to expect fall colors,” continued Aresco. “We advise travelers that no matter where they are headed, it’s a really good idea to check for any COVID-19 travel restrictions before heading out.”
2020 Fall Foliage Information
Plan ahead for a Safe Trip
In these times of a pandemic, AAA Mid-Atlantic reminds travelers it’s important to take some extra precautions to reduce risks of the coronavirus. Here are some ways to stay safe when traveling:
- Hand sanitizer. Bring a large pump-style bottle of 70% alcohol-based sanitizer for the car. A pump bottle reduces handling of the bottle. You can trigger the pump with the back of your hand. Sanitize before getting out of the car and immediately after returning. Be sure everyone has a small, individualized bottle to take with them.
- Sanitizing wipes. Keeping a packet in the car can help you get into the habit of wiping down all areas of your vehicle where you have contact, such as the steering wheel, shift knob, door handles and seat belt latches. If you forget to bring wipes, pump a little sanitizer onto a napkin and apply. Bring a second packet of wipes with you to take when you leave the vehicle so you can use it when opening a restaurant door, using a gas pump, sitting down at a table or using a public restroom.
- Wear a mask. They are required in most municipalities when entering any public building or in outdoor spaces where people congregate. Keep in mind, the bandana or gaiter style of mask is not approved in all public areas. Bring one washable mask for each day of your trip and use a new one daily. If you are traveling with kids or several people, it may be more efficient to invest in a box of disposable masks so everyone can simply grab and go.
- Pack a lunch and more. Packing food and snacks can help reduce the number of stops you make, and therefore the number of potential interactions. You’ll also reach your destination sooner. Pack lunch when you can, along with snacks. Opt for single-use packets so you're all not reaching into the same bag. Use a cooler for beverages.
- Social distance. When you do make a stop, stay 6 feet apart when standing in lines. Self-seating restaurants typically have their tables spaced, with distance and directional markers on the floor. Consider ordering ahead via a mobile app to further reduce contact.
- If you feel uncomfortable, leave. If you notice workers are not wearing masks properly (they should cover the entire mouth and nose) or there are simply too many people inside, don’t hesitate to leave.
- Use the AAA mobile app. Remember to bring the AAA mobile app along for the ride. You'll be able to make hotel reservations along the way at AAA member rates, and find local attractions, restaurants, and other venues that offer AAA discounts.
- Check the AAA COVID Travel Tracker. Visit AAA’s Covid-19 Travel Restrictions Map at TripTik.AAA.com for the latest state and local travel restrictions.AAA’s TripTik digital product has incorporated instant access to COVID-19 updates from around the United States. Users simply define the stops along their itinerary within the digital product, and the latest COVID restrictions and information is just a click away.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and more than 3.2 million members in Pennsylvania. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile appss for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.