Travelling during the pandemic can be quite unsafe if you don’t take proper precautions. More than ever before, travel in such times needs careful preparation as it includes a considerable amount of risk. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while planning road trips in the current times of COVID-19 for a safe and sound journey.
Know about the route and destination
Be careful to study the route you intend to drive on your road trip and respect the rules they have in place. Mindfully do your research before planning your trip, know about any restrictions in place at your destination and plan accordingly. It is always safe to know about the regional requirements before you cross any state or territory borders.
You’ll have to find out whether you need to quarantine if you’re arriving from a COVID-19 hotspot or not. It is important to find out if the tourist attractions you plan to visit are open for visitors or not. If yes, researching on what measures they have in place concerning safety would be advisable.
Take your own vehicle for the road trip
The better option is to travel in your own vehicle instead of using public transport, especially during the pandemic. There will be much less contact with potential spreaders and contaminated surfaces and as a result, you will be less prone to catching the virus. Before you start your journey, sanitize (or use disposable gloves before touching anything) and clean the dashboard, steering wheel, seat belt since these are the most in-contact surfaces. Don’t forget to disinfect the car door handles and seat covers too.
All about Maps!
Make sure to download maps for the area you are traveling to beforehand to ensure a smooth experience even in the event of poor network connectivity. Keep offline versions of Google Maps downloaded to refer to when you might be in a no-network zone. You could even carry a paper version of the map in case your phone battery dies in the middle of nowhere during your road trip.
Social distancing is the key
Even while shopping, ask the shop owners if you can pay through digital mode. It will ensure minimum contact between you and the other person. Also, make sure to avoid crowded places while keeping a safe distance of at least 2 meters at all times.
Avoid eating out as much as you can
While traveling by road, do carry some packed food from home to ensure limited stops during the journey. Don’t forget to carry a bottle of water and some disposable cutlery. It would be a clever idea to pack your meals in individual portions to avoid sharing. Pack enough food for two extra days just in case you find yourself in circumstances where you might have to extend the road trip by two or three days.
Take a break
Zero down on your pit stop for fuel, food, and stay before you set out on the road. If you’re driving with a partner or friend, take breaks in between and share the driving every two or so hours. Remember to pay thorough attention to hygiene while switching the driving responsibilities. Don’t forget to sanitize high-touch surfaces like the steering wheel, gear shaft, and all other display items.
Be cautious about restrooms
It is really important for you to use a clean restroom through the entirety of your journey. Avoid public restrooms if possible at all times during your road trip. After you are done using the restroom, don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly and also sanitize them before touching the car keys or getting into the car.
Carry a first aid kit
Never leave for a weekend road trip without packing a first aid kit. Basics like bandaids, medicines for cough and cold, headache, stomach pain, and fever are a must. Depending on your needs, you could also include antibiotics, antiseptic creams, wipes, tweezers, scissors, eye drops, and mosquito repellents, etc. Always keep a few extra masks, gloves, and sanitizers (with at least 60% alcohol).