Vacation Inspiration: Road Trip to Palm Springs - 510 Families
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Vacation Inspiration: Road Trip to Palm Springs

Some affiliate links below. Remember to plan for your city and state’s Covid-19 travel and quarantine restrictions.

If you’re looking for a fun family getaway that’s not too close but not too far away, Palm Springs is worth a look. My family just took a road trip to Palm Springs and loved the extreme change of scenery and playing hours in the pool. Here’s how we made our trip as safe and fun as possible.

Hours and hours playing in the pool at our rental home | Photo: Julie Herson

Our family’s favorites in Palm Springs

We’ve been to Palm Springs for Spring Break the past few years and it’s fabulous. Going in the Fall is terrific, too. There are tons of stunning mid-century modern vacation rentals with pools available, as well as many boutique hotels. We chose to rent a home so we could more easily social distance and not have to stress out about Covid-19 for a few days. For the same reason, we decided not to explore what was open in Palm Springs, though it seems much of the city has reopened. Instead, we spent most of our days playing in the pool and relaxing in the air-conditioned house.

Now that virtual school is back in session, my older two children can keep up with their distance learning anywhere we have a decent wifi connection.

Sunrise in Palm Springs was worth the early wake-up call | Photo: Julie Herson

We did wake up super early one day to take a short hike to the Simonetta Kennett Viewpoint and watch the sunrise.


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More safe tourism around Palm Springs

Joshua Tree is a day-trip activity from Palm Springs | Photo: Julie Herson

Joshua Tree: otherworldly, lots of rocks to climb, watch out for cactus, an incredible National Park! We love Joshua Tree’s alien desertscape and Lorax-like trees. It’s only an hour drive from Palm Springs, so it’s certainly worth the drive if the heat not too much for you. More about Joshua Tree >

Cabazon Dinosaurs: outdoors, fenced, masks required and went on a weekday evening after dinner to beat crowds and heat. Plenty hand sanitizer on premises. Website >

Indian Canyons: outdoor natural palm oasis, nature’s playground! Website >

cabazon dinosaur near palm springs
Cabazon Dinosaurs (as seen in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure | Photo: Heather Flett

Rental vacation houses in Palm Springs

This handy map widget will let you filter rental homes by price per night, number of beds, or important amenities like decent wifi and a swimming pool in the backyard!


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My Tips to Pack for a Safe Road Trip

Our goal for the 8 hour road trip was to limit pit-stops and maintain our own little quarantine bubble in our car. We were able to only stop twice for gas and a quick pit-stop on the side of the road and avoided public restrooms and having to interact with anyone. To do this, here’s what we packed:

  • Plenty of snacks, meals, and water so we wouldn’t need to stop (though we tried to limit water to cut down on pit-stops)
  • A portable potty for the kids so we could avoid public restrooms
  • Hand sanitizer and masks
  • Entertainment devices with headphones
  • Road Bingo and Audio Books to quell the boredom (Try audible now two free audiobooks)
Don’t forget the goggles and inflatables! | Photo: Julie Herson

Overall we had a terrific week-long vacation in Palm Springs that felt safe and was memorable for our family. That said, no road-trip is without risk in this Covid-19 world. We did our best to limit exposure and to keep ourselves and others safe. If you choose to go, just make sure to keep up to date with local health and safety orders.

Are you planning a road-trip anytime soon? Where are you going?

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