As I planned my great pandemic escape, I booked out accommodations only as far out as a few days prior or on the actual day of my needed lodging. I felt that I had to be extremely adaptable and be able to accommodate travel restrictions as they could change at any minute during these strange days. I kept a close and frequent watch on weather, hotel apps for last minute deals, and covid travel updates in all of the states I would need to travel through in order to get to my national park destinations.

I began the route mapping and packing process about 2 weeks prior to my escape date. I packed enough clothing to last me 6 days as I knew I could wash clothes as needed. I included items that would mix and match easily in order to create fresh looks even with repurposing the same clothing and 3 pairs of shoes for however long I would be gone. I envisioned being gone for 2 weeks but was prepared to be on the road for possibly a month or longer. On the road I discovered how little we truly need to live on by using this minimalistic approach to packing. I may have picked up a few tips and found inspiration in watching a few episodes of Marie Kondo and also the documentary, “Minimalism,” on Netflix! ;-)

In addition to my condensed version of suitcase living, I packed a self-made “pandemic safety” kit, a national park edition road atlas, easy-to-transport snacks, two 2.5 gallon jugs of water, a 32 oz yeti, a tent (in the event I needed to camp), my pillow, and my work and personal computers. My “pandemic safety” kit consisted of two 16 oz bottles of hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, masks, rubbing alcohol, toilet paper, vitamin D, and a first-aid kit. I was all set with all the supplies I needed, booked my first lodging destination in Taos, NM, and the next morning I launched my vessel (she’s called, Marishiten, and is a Japanese goddess or Toyota) out into the great wide open! 


Hi! I'm Holly Rice, a naturally curious student of life. My curious nature has always led me to pursue whatever piques my interests, which means I am great at trivia! I've been a gemologist, a yoga teacher, a buyer, a marketing director in the tech industry, and am now following my love of travel, nature, writing and photography. I also have a penchant for cooking and baking and have a line of seasonings (at, created for popcorn but taste great on everything!


NeoBantu Brand Ambassador
Tagged: Travel