Your summer fantasy of a tropical getaway overseas is probably out of the window for this year, thanks to the pandemic and the necessary travel restrictions. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors during your summer vacation. You can still hop on behind the wheel and go on a classic road trip.
If you have been working days and nights during the pandemic, you surely deserve a quick and safe break. Traveling using your own car or an RV is a safer alternative than rubbing elbows with complete strangers at the airport. How can you and your family stay safe on a road trip? Read on and plan for an amazing summer road trip, alone or with your family.
1. Plan and prepare your route.
Aside from planning to stay in areas with parking spaces and lots that are well-maintained and see a lot of commercial concrete repair, you will need to consider more factors in your route preparation. Even if you have traveled the same route before, doing extra research now is a must. With restrictions and lockdowns in some areas, you do not want to run into a closure and have to turn around. To be safe, be sure to ask the following questions.
- What is the rate of COVID-19 infection in the areas that you will be passing? Remember that if it is high or a COVID hotspot, you are putting yourself at risk of becoming infected.
- Do you or one of your companions have an underlying medical condition that will put you or your companion at a higher risk of becoming infected? You might consider putting off the trip if that is the case.
- Are your companions living with you, or will they come from another household? It is preferable to choose companions who are living with you.
- Can you and your companions maintain at least a six-foot distance between each other while on the road?
- Does your destination require incoming visitors to undergo 14-day quarantine?
When choosing your destination, make sure that you choose a safe and uncrowded place. Choose a route with a low infection rate. Avoid stopovers in public places such as groceries and fast-food restaurants to reduce contact with strangers. Opt for drive-thru if you need to get something to eat even if dine-in is allowed. Minimize the number of drive-thrus that you have to take by planning your meals.
2. Prepare your ride for the long trip.
Make sure that your vehicle is in excellent condition for a road trip. Have it inspected to ensure that you won’t be in any trouble that will compromise your safety along the road. Having to hail strangers for help will just expose you and your companions and put you at risk.
3. Pack your complete travel essentials.
To avoid stopovers in groceries and convenience stores, pack everything that you need before you go. Pack your hygiene and sanitation essentials: soap, hand sanitizers, alcohol, face masks, disposable gloves, disinfectant cleaning wipes, and tissues, among others. Bring some water for drinking and when you need to wash your hands along the road. Good hygiene and frequent hand washing are still your best defenses against viruses and bacteria.
4. Be extra cautious when touching surfaces.
Make sure to use disposable gloves when you pump gas. You will also likely be using restrooms in public places such as gas stations. It is important to be careful about touching high-touch surfaces and fixtures. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds. You can also use a hand sanitizer with 70% alcohol content. Use a piece of paper towel to touch high-touch fixtures, when you open the door, for example, to keep your hands clean. Do not forget to use a face mask whenever you get off your vehicle.
5. Go cashless.
Minimize the use of cash during your journey. Use your credit card whenever possible. Using your card lessens your face-to-face interactions with the establishment’s personnel. You can then always wipe your card with a disinfectant wet wipe to sanitize it.
6. Avoid overnight trips.
Unless you plan to sleep in your car, you have an RV, or you plan to set camp, avoid overnight trips. If you have to stay in a hotel, choose a reputable hotel. They will be more likely to adhere to the safety and sanitation guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). It is recommended that you use your own sanitizing products to clean the room’s high-touch surfaces. You don’t have to get housekeeping services; this way you could manage the number of people who go in and out of your room.
Of course, the easier alternative to all of these is to stay at home. But if you are itching to take your car for a day trip, make sure to take the necessary precautions for your safety and that of others as well.