Six Tips For Planning A Safe Road Trip In The Time Of COVID-19

April 14, 2021

While staying put in your own home is one of the safest things that you can do during a pandemic, it is not always an option for everyone. There are personal and professional commitments that leave you with no other option, but to hit the road even when it is not the best time to do so. If you really must travel during an ongoing pandemic, you need to plan ahead to safeguard your health and that of the people around you. Here are practical tips you need to keep in mind when planning a road trip while the nation is still experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Prepare Mentally And Physically

Planning for a regular road trip is tricky enough in itself, but it is a notch more complicated when you are also trying to keep an infectious disease at bay. It is important, therefore, to prepare yourself for the additional physical and mental burden brought about by the looming threat of COVID-19. 

Do what you can to make sure that everyone in your group has the best chance of staying comfy throughout the trip. This can mean anything from anticipating the added stress to making sure you are dressed for hours of sitting. If you are traveling with kids or pets, bring enough toys to keep them entertained. You can wear women’s or men’s compression socks so that you will be less likely to suffer from a dead leg while driving. These small accommodations can make a lot of difference while you’re on the road.

Stock Up On Supplies

One of the things that you want to do while you are out and about is avoid people. It is difficult to do this when your rest stops are few and far between and you have to share these facilities with strangers. 

To minimize your trips to grocery stores, stock up on supplies you will likely need on the road. These include, but are not limited to: non-perishable food, clothing, first aid kits, and repair kits. Pack a little more than what you need so that you will not risk running out of supplies or shopping in a crowded store on the way to your destination. 

Put Together A Hygiene Kit

Before leaving your home, decide on how you want to approach hygiene and sanitation. You want to become familiar with a sanitizing procedure that everyone in your group agrees with. Going over this standard procedure beforehand will help set everyone’s expectations, and this will go a long way in avoiding conflicts and making everyone feel more at ease. 

Once you have decided on a procedure, prepare a sanitation or hygiene kit for anyone who needs to use shared facilities like restrooms and grocery stores. This kit can include sanitizing wipes, tissues, gloves, and sealed bags for disposable items.  

Plan Your Accommodation

If the trip will take more than a few hours, where do you plan to rest? Many hotels have taken steps to minimize interaction with guests and ensure that their rooms are cleaned thoroughly. Still, it would not hurt to do a once-over on high-touch surfaces such as tables and countertops when you check into your room.

If there are no safe options on the road, what alternatives are available to you? Would it make sense to travel in an RV and spend the evenings in RV parks? Think of these possibilities beforehand and determine how you’re going to approach any changes in your plans. 

Know Your Route And Stops

If you have to go on a stopover, try to plan it in areas where you are less likely to run into a crowd. Go over your route beforehand and plan where and when you are going to eat, use the restroom, or shop for necessities.

For example, if there are restaurants that offer drive-through or curbside pick-up options, go for those instead of dining in. If you must sit down for your meal, check out options that allow for al fresco dining. You can also time your grocery runs so that you can shop during off-peak hours. 

Plan For Your Arrival

Once you get to your destination, how do you plan on spending the next few days? If you are visiting other people, for example, are you planning on isolating yourself or getting tested beforehand? If someone in your group starts exhibiting symptoms, what are your next steps? In general, it is always a good idea to check the most recent precautions prescribed for your specific situation. Also, make use of any resources available to you to ensure that you are minimizing the risks associated with your next activities.

A bit of planning can help you get through the most common bumps on the road without losing your cool, increasing your risk for infection, or getting excessively worn out due to stress and anxiety. If all goes well, your road trip this year will be quite uneventful despite the ongoing pandemic, but if not, you have at least prepared yourself for the possible situations you might face.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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