8 Ways to Stay Safe on the Road During the PandemicBaltimore Post-Examiner

Going on a Road Trip During the Pandemic? Here’s How to Stay Safe

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The coronavirus pandemic has derailed the plans of many travelers. Flying to international vacation destinations is sadly off the table for a lot of vacationers, as many countries outside the US have closed their borders to tourists.

Those looking to scratch their travel itch are thinking of taking an all-American road trip. If you’re planning to hit the road and go on a much-needed vacation, you’ll need to exercise caution. Just because you’re on a holiday doesn’t mean that you should let your guard down and think that the coronavirus is on a break.

Here are suggestions to keep in mind to stay safe on the road:

1. Finalize Travel Plans

Preparation is crucial, especially during these times of uncertainty. Even if you’ve gone on a road trip several times in the previous years, you still need to plan your routes and locations. You may run into temporary closures that could prevent you from moving forward and ruin your vacation plans.

When thinking about your local holiday destinations, consider the following questions:

  • Does the location have a travel advisory?
  • Is the coronavirus spreading in the area you’re visiting? (Travel tip: you may want to exclude that location or reconsider your travel to stay safe)
  • Does the destination require the standard 14-day quarantine upon arrival?
  • Will you be able to practice effective social distancing at your intended destination?

On top of taking these health precautions, you should make sure that your car is in excellent shape. Get your vehicle inspected or serviced if you’re concerned about possible mechanical breakdowns while traveling on the road.

2. Bring a Hygiene and Protection Kit

Once you’ve finished planning your travels, you’ll need to focus on bringing the necessary supplies for your road trip. Some items you should bring with you are the following:

  • Sanitizing wipes and sprays containing 70 percent isopropyl alcohol
  • Surgical or cloth masks
  • Face shields
  • A box of disposable gloves
  • A thermometer
  • Health insurance cards and related documents
  • A first aid kit
  • A car repair kit
  • Snacks and water in case you’re unable to find a rest stop (or find a rest area that’s too crowded)

3. Watch out for Speedsters

Some thrill-seekers look at the empty roads as an opportunity to exceed the speed limit imposed in the area. Be wary of dangerous speedsters while traveling. Know that the local police units are aware of this issue. If you get into a vehicle crash and sustain an injury because of a speeding motorist, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer to hold the at-fault party responsible for the incident.

4. Don’t Snub the Chains (Unless They’re Packed with People)

Many food establishment chains have implemented stringent hygiene standards concerning social distancing, masks, sanitizing and hand washing. This uniformity can serve as a boon to risk-averse vacationers navigating an area or state where pandemic culture and laws vary greatly.

If you happen to spot a chain, like a Starbucks franchise, you can get your food there safely so long as the establishment is taking precautionary hygiene and sanitation measures. When the fast-food establishment you want to enter looks crowded, wait until the crowd disappears or look somewhere else.

5. Consider a Dining Contingency Plan

As much as possible, go to food establishments that provide outdoor dining to customers. If an outdoor option doesn’t exist (or has one but the store is at full capacity), see if you could order take out. Then, eat the food at an open public outdoor space, such as the park or the beach. Alternatively, you could order take out and eat the food that your hotel room or lodging area.

6. Sanitize Your Hotel Room

Take note that not all hotel establishments might be operating normally. Before you head out on the open road, get in touch with your hotel to verify your reservation. If you are staying overnight, take extra precautions to clean and disinfect the room.

7. Wash Your Hands Often

If you need to use the restroom in a gas station or at a restaurant, take precautions by washing your hand with soap and water. Do it twice: after entering the establishment and before you leave.

When you’re in the bathroom, refrain from touching too many surfaces in that area. Flush the toilet using your foot if you can.

8. Travel with Just the Family

If you’re going on a road trip, do it with people living with you. Resist the temptation of inviting more people.

A safe road trip is possible when you take note of these eight tips. Planning your travels carefully will help make sure you minimize your risk of becoming infected and enjoy the great outdoors

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