There’s no place like home. While we deal with new challenges, regulations, restrictions, etc., travel within the U.S.A. is going to be hot again. It's almost guaranteed. The airlines are already adjusting for this reality, and My XO Adventures is positioned extremely well. If you’re thinking about travel plans for the spring, summer, and fall of 2022 consider the places you have yet to explore.
The National Parks will be a lot like Disneyland, but fortunately, travel in the U.S.A is diverse and plentiful. In the travel business, the United States is often considered the most beautiful country in the world. For a travel planner, we consider the following (and more) when planning a destination for guests.
Believe it or not, we are more than Red and Blue. While the U.S. may not be considered the safest place on the planet, travelers generally don’t worry about where to visit. Take for instance Louisiana, and the French cultural roots we have there. Allons A Lafayette is an excellent choice when visiting the state. They can show you the true places of Cajun and Zydeco music. You can also get great food all over the place, including gas stations. French culture is heard in the language, seen in the architecture, and wafts through the air. It is simply amazing.
Arizona, Utah, New Mexico are all in the Southwest with their roots firmly grounded in Hispanic and indigenous cultures. The landscape is breathtaking, and the food is amazing. If you haven’t had a Hatch Chile, you haven’t experienced good Southwest Cuisine. A good outfitter in the area is Epic One Adventures, which can take you through Arizona, Utah, and some of the most beautiful landscapes you'll ever see.
Of course, My XO Adventures operates in an area that is overlooked by many, and thoroughly enjoyed by those who come. The Black Hills of South Dakota. Very little traffic, open roads, stunning mountains, and the Badlands. Southwestern South Dakota is the place to be. You might be thinking, South Dakota? Yeah well, it’s been kept a secret for some time now, and for good reason. It’s great being able to explore this part of the country in peace and tranquility.
Most people think of Mount Rushmore and nothing else. While this is quite an engineering accomplishment, the Black Hills themselves are the real star of the show. Ancient granite monoliths rise from the earth and sparkle in the sun. Filled with minerals like quartz, mica, feldspar, agates, and yes, gold. These towering spires are the Heart of All That Is for the Lakota, Cheyenne, Crow, and more. The mighty American Bison roams Custer State Park, the second-largest in the nation.
Elk, deer, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and more call these places home. Babbling brooks and streams flow out of the mountains and towards the mighty Missouri River. Ponderosa Pines mixed with bright wildflower-filled meadows abound. Spearfish Canyon awes as you drive through the 1000-foot towering limestone cliffs. Further out you can visit Badlands National Park, one of the weirdest places on earth. Frank Lloyd Wright said it was nature's architecture, and it happens to be one of the largest depositories of fossils in the world.
Not to forget, The Black Hills sport some of the most amazing roads in the country. Iron Mountain Road and the Needles Highway are the most prominent. All of this is within an hour of Rapid City. Traveling internationally can be exciting and quite a bit of fun, but traveling throughout the U.S. makes one realize how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful country.
The next several months at least are going to be problematic with international destinations. Not until Omicron spreads through and well into the spring will we see infection rates come back to normal. This means international travel might as well be dead for the moment. If you’re hell-bent on it, consider looking at that specific nation's vaccination rate. Country by county listings of COVID vaccinations. Ahem, look at second place.
If you don’t want to be so concerned with your personal vacation time, then get out and play. As the famous folk song is titled, This Land is Your Land. It overflows with natural wonders, places of healing like the Black Hills, and surely you haven’t seen it all. Fair warning though, start making your plans. Hotels will fill up, Airbnb’s will become scarce, and Private Tours will begin to become hard to find. Domestic travel also supports our economy and is made right here in the good ole U.S.A.
We are natural explorers and live in a part of the world where we're surrounded by magnificence. Try not to let fear keep you from getting out and experiencing new places, it might be just what you need.