A road trip used to mean you threw beach balls and towels into the car, loaded up the kids and dog, and hit the road. During COVID-19 there are a few additional things you will need to pack to have a safe trip. Check out the list below and be safe
Protect Yourself and Others
You have an industrial-sized bag of Sour Patch kids, a few giant canisters of Pringles, and a couple of apples to round out the perfect road trip meal but what are you forgetting? Your personal protective equipment (PPE). Leaving home during COVID-19 requires a little more planning than usual.
Make sure you have enough masks for everyone in the car, and a couple of spares, just in case. Disposable gloves and hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol are necessary items. Most municipalities throughout the country currently require face masks be worn at indoor facilities. You will want to use disposable gloves to pump gasoline, open doors, or purchase items during the trip. Make sure you toss the gloves after each use.
For long road trips, you should try to stop at public places like gas stations as infrequently as possible. Pack enough snacks, drinks, and personal items so you can do a quick gas and go. If you are using a public restroom, make sure you have all the PPE you need to get in and out with as little contact as possible.
Pack a small personal sized container of sanitizer wipes for surfaces before you sit. If your trip entails eating at restaurants along the way, try to find places that have take-out, drive-through or outside dining facilities. Avoid unnecessary stops along the way by packing toiletries from home.
Where Can I Stay?
We all like to think that hotels effectively sanitize everything in rooms every time a guest checks out, but during a pandemic like COVID-19 it is up to you to be extra diligent about sanitizing the high contact areas of a guest room. Pack extra gloves and sanitizer wipes and give these areas a thorough cleaning before you touch anything with your bare hands.
Stay in hotels that offer contactless check-ins and if your room is not located on the ground floor take the stairs to avoid using an elevator. Always wear a mask when going in and out of the hotel.
Ideally, the hotel staggers guest-stays in a room by at least three days to lessen the transmission of COVID-19. It is also a good idea to pack extra plastic bags to handle things like TV remotes.
Pack all your belongings in plastic bags and keep them in the bags when not in use. Packing your own bed linens may make you feel a little safer but as a rule, sheets should be washed and sanitized with every guest change. Bedspreads should be removed to a closet and you should wash your hands after you move them.
Important Papers and Medications
Much like packing for a move, packing essential items like medications is important. All medications should be packed in a plastic zipper bag and you should include a written list of the medications along with proper dosages; include a list of allergies also. This is important should you become ill during your travels.
Additionally, include a list with your name, address, contact person and any important health-related information should you not be able to tell someone in a crisis.
Common sense during COVID-19 can help you have a safe road trip. Wear your PPE, maintain social distancing, and drive safely. It may be more work to travel during COVID-19 but a road trip can be a practical, fun way to get out of the house.