Road trips seem to be the new way to travel these days and it’s no surprise.
But we’re in a pandemic. Safety above all should be top priority. I get it. You’ve got cabin fever and want to venture off for a bit, clear your mind. And you’ve quarantined so long, you deserve it, right? But you also deserve to stay safe and healthy. So here’s a road trip planning checklist (how to safely prepare during a pandemic).
Related: Is Your Car Road Trip Ready? Easy Checks Anyone Can Do – and What a Mechanic Should Look at – Before You Hit the Road
Road Trip Planning Checklist
Check Your Car Health
Make sure your car is in good shape. Oil change, wipers, tires, a full tank. Have an emergency number list or know who to call in case you get stuck. For example, AAA, OnStar- those types of services. On a road trip to Virginia, our engine shut off as we were driving into the hotel entrance (just made it!). We had no idea what to do and I decided to call the GMC dealer in Virginia to see if they could help. They were so wonderful! They picked up the car and had us back on the road the next morning.
Screen Yourself (and Your Family)
Say what? Screen yourself! Just as the nurses do before you go to a doctor appointment these days, ask yourself (and your family) these questions. The last thing you want to do is travel while ill and put others at risk, too. It’s best to safely prepare. If you are having any of these symptoms, please stay home. But if you and everyone else passes the screening, you’re good to go.
Tip: Pack a first aid kit with a thermometer and tylenol. You never know if you will need it.
- Have you been in gatherings of over 50 people in the past 14 days?
- Have you been around anyone who has the virus?
- Do you or anyone your around feel: tightness in the chest, have pink eye, a dry cough, fever?
- Last, check your temperature and if you can, your oxygen levels.
Pack Disinfectant Like Your Life Depends On It
Because it kind of does. Things like toilet paper, antibacterial wipes, disinfecting sprays, hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks are ESSENTIAL to have on hand. And these things are sometimes hard to find so be sure to plan ahead.
Drive thrus and curbside pick up are generally safe but with road trips, you don’t know what’s being offered where. The best thing is to pack your own food- snacks, drinks, sandwiches and utensils. And map out any stops for drive thrus and curbside. Apps like Waze can tell you what’s available nearby, too. Find out the hours of operation and save the addresses.
What If I Need to Go?!
Potty breaks may be the most stressful part of your road trip planning. Is it safe to use a restroom at a gas station or rest stop? Many of these places have to follow new protocol for cleaning and sanitizing so it should be generally safe. That doesn’t mean you should waltz in unprepared. Wear your mask, don’t touch anything (as much as you can avoid it) and wash your hands properly. Bring wipes to sanitize if you need to touch anything. You can also map out the rest stops you prefer to use by doing some research and finding out ahead of time which places are keeping safe and clean. But if it makes you uncomfortable, there are camping products you can look into.
Have a Plan
Create a checklist and have a good solid plan. Be sure to pack according to the weather when it comes to clothing, pack blankets and towels, too. You don’t want to have to shop. The more prepared, the better and the safer. After all, that’s what makes traveling by car so great- you can pack whatever you want!
Keep the Car Sanitized
Spray some lysol and do a quick wipe down every time you exit and come back into the car. Being in the car for so long, passengers may cough, sneeze, or just talk. It’s not a bad idea to keep the car sanitized.
Distance Yourself No Matter What Distance You Go
It’s true that some areas haven’t been hit as hard but that doesn’t mean you should forget the rules. You wouldn’t want to be that person that goes and infects others, would you? Keep distance, keep clean and carry on.