EAST NORTHPORT, New York -- This summer, families across the country are coming up with creative alternatives for their vacations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Even though New York is now in Phase 4 of reopening, more coronavirus hot spots keep popping up across the country, so many New Yorkers are opting out of long-distance traveling for now.
People have been turning to simpler vacation alternatives such as regional road trips and staycations, with camping and renting RVs seeing a resurgence of interest.
The owners of Long Island Glampers, Rachel and Hal Kench know this firsthand. They have been busy offering customers local getaway experiences in glamorous campers -- or glampers -- the couple outfits and designs.
The Kenches, along with their two sons, have traveled to almost every state in their RV and decided to channel their love of the outdoors into this side business.
During the year, the Kenches are teachers, but in the summer, they are constantly on the go dropping off and picking up campers all over Suffolk County.
"I think people get a kick out of the beauty of the beach and camping on the beach," Rachel Kench said. "Most people get a kick out of some of the attention they get, too, when they roll up with the zebra camper or hippie camper. It's kind of fun not just for the renter, but the reactions up to and down the beach, which is kind of cute."
Campers are responsible for making your campsite reservation. Before reserving a glamper, campers should lock in their campsite with the county/state/private campground to ensure they have a place to park the vehicle.
Long Island Glampers offers five campers to choose from, with a sixth soon to be finished. Each one has its personality with decorations to match.
The "Sarabi," for instance, offers an African safari theme. The outside of the glamper has black-and-white stripes, representing a zebra. The inside is filled with pictures of African wildlife from a family trip a few years ago.
"We do work hard on them," Rachel Kench said. "We put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into them sometimes. It's rewarding to see the reactions and to see that they make people happy."
Another popular glamper is "Groovy Suzie", which is 1970s themed. The glamper is covered in peace signs and flowers. Each camper is refurbished and decorated by the Kenches, something the love doing each time they introduce a new glamper to their fleet.
Hal Kench offers assurances that anyone can rent a glamper, even without RV experience.
"What I tell people is you're going to show up with your food, your clothes, and your bedding. I'll even tell you what bedding to bring," he said. "Everything else is in there, the coffee maker; we do supply you with the coffee, the microwave, the generator, the water. Just show up with those three things I told you to and you're going to have a great time."
The Kenches hope more New Yorkers will fall in love with the RV life as they discover how easy and fun glamping can be at the beautiful beaches and parks right in their backyard.
Contact Community Journalist Alex Ciccarone
Follow Alex on Facebook
Follow @Alexabc7NY on Twitter
Follow @Alexabc7NY on Instagram