Guest Post by: Molly Barnes, Digital Nomad Life.
Traveling during a pandemic has its risks, there’s no doubt about it. If it’s done right, however — say, on a road trip — you can avoid the coronavirus and have a great time with your family. By taking necessary precautions, adhering to CDC guidelines, and thinking outside the box, you can make 2020 the year of your greatest road trip ever!
Here are a few ideas on how to make road tripping safe and fun during a pandemic.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Plan every aspect of your trip in advance: your budget, destination, routes, and dates of travel. Do your research before hitting the road so you’ll have a good idea of what to expect.
Reserve your hotel, vacation rental, or campground ahead of time, and pay online to avoid personal contact as much as possible once you reach your destination. Map your routes and keep an eye out for travel advisories and weather forecasts for the dates you’ll be traveling.
Set a Budget for Your Travels
Create a budget for road tripping, making sure you have ample funds for gas, lodging, food, necessities, and the activities you want to enjoy. Set aside funds for emergencies that may arise on the road. If your credit needs a boost, take time to bolster it and fix any issues before you hit the road so you can use your credit cards without getting stressed.
Rethink Your Destination
Instead of setting your sights on any of the usual, overcrowded vacation hotspots, try an untapped outdoor destination. Go camping at a state park, rent a mountain cabin, or vacation at a farm where you can explore the wonders of rural America — and maintain your social distancing.
If you opt for a vacation rental, try to stay on the ground floor to avoid entering the confined spaces of elevators or stairs. Short-term vacation rentals give you greater control over your environment so you can keep from mixing with other people. Above all, avoid destinations where viral infection rates are high or where social distancing isn’t feasible.
If you’re not comfortable with long-distance travel, take day trips instead to interesting spots just a few hours’ drive from your home, like a beach, lake, or park where you can breathe fresh air and connect with nature.
Service Your Vehicle, Review Your Insurance
Make sure you service your vehicle before hitting the road. Whether you’re traveling by car or RV, you want to be certain it’s in the best of shape on the road. (If you’re lamenting the fact that you don’t own an RV, consider an RV rental to take your road trip to the next level.)
If your vehicle needs new tires, a change of battery, or major repairs, take care of this before you travel. Also, review your auto insurance policy to ensure that you’re covered for any eventuality. While you’re at it, make sure your family’s legal documents are in order, as well, in case you encounter an emergency on the road.
Stock Up on Food and Basics
The less contact you have with others, the less risk you’ll run of contracting the virus. If you stock up on food and necessities before you leave home, you won’t have to put yourself at risk by going in and out of supermarkets for snacks, toiletries, or other supplies.
Your road-tripping essentials should include nonperishable foods, healthy snacks, kids’ drinks, adult drinks, drinking water, cleaning supplies, disinfectant, first-aid supplies, medications, personal toiletries — and, of course, plenty of toilet paper to last for the duration of your travels.
Pack a COVID-19 Travel Kit
Keeping the pandemic in mind, make sure you pack plenty of hygiene and cleaning supplies for your travels. These products are indispensable to your health and safety on the road. Your COVID-19 travel kit should contain:
- Face masks
- Disposable gloves
- Disinfectant wipes (large and small)
- Hand sanitizer bottles (large and small)
- Spray bottles
- Dish soap
- Hand soap
- Laundry detergent
- Facial tissues
- Paper towels
- Trash bags (large and small)
Good hygiene practices are extremely important when traveling during a pandemic. Wash your hands often with soap and water — before eating, after eating, after bathroom runs, after playtimes, and before going to sleep. Use disposable gloves when visiting rest stops, pumping gas, opening and closing doors, or anytime you’re in a high-traffic area.
Keep your vehicle clean and neat as much as possible, and disinfect your car often. Every time you stop, wipe down the seats, dashboard, and other interior surfaces, and throw out the trash to reduce clutter. A clean car is a safer car, so make cleanliness a priority.
So know you know how to prepare for road tripping safely during a pandemic. After months of living, working, and schooling at home, you’re probably more than ready for an open-road adventure. Now all that’s left for you to do is pack up, kick off those shoes (there’s nothing like barefoot driving!), and hit the road with your family.