How to Prepare for a Road Trip this Summer

By Alyssa Laffitte on July 8, 2020

Your typical summer road trip might look different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, you can reduce your health risk while still enjoying your road trip. Here are some tips for preparing for a road trip this summer.

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Pack plenty of snacks and drinks

When you go on a long road trip, you will likely get hungry. To reduce the number of stops for food throughout the trip, pack plenty of snacks and drinks. It would be a good idea to prepare sandwiches or salads beforehand since they don’t need to be heated. In the car, store them (and a couple of water bottles) in a cooler. When someone gets hungry, they can just pull out a snack from the cooler. It’s also a good idea to bring snacks that don’t need to be cooled, such as chips, popcorn, or granola bars. These will tie you over until the next big meal. Packing plenty of snacks and drinks is a good way to prepare for a road trip this summer.

Pack masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and paper towels

Due to the pandemic, it’s a good idea to have various protective items with you during your road trip. For example, you should definitely have paper towels, at least one bottle of hand sanitizer or wipes, pairs of gloves, and at least one mask per person. These items will help keep you safe throughout your road trip. For example, every time you return to your car after a stop, you should sanitize your hands. When you leave your car, you should wear your mask. Clearly, it’s important to be prepared with protective items before you leave for your road trip, as these items will help keep you safe.

Plan your stops

Traveling during a pandemic means you must plan your stops carefully. You can’t simply stop wherever or whenever you want to. Instead, you must be careful to stop as few times as possible during your road trip, and only stop at places you absolutely need to stop at. Before you leave, it’s a good idea to plan your route and determine where you will stop. This will keep you from making unnecessary stops.

Research the guidelines for each of your destinations

While you plan your stops, it’s important to take into account the health situation and guidelines in each location. The health guidelines are highly variable across different cities and states. For example, some states may allow indoor dining, while some may not. These differing regulations might mean you will need to adjust your plans for each stop. For this reason, be sure to double-check the guidelines and regulations of each state you plan to stop at. You should be able to find this information on the state’s official website. Once you learn about the guidelines for each place, plan your trip according to them, and be sure to follow them. Researching the guidelines for each location you plan to visit will help you plan your trip.

If you must stop to eat, eat outdoors

You can live off of the salads and sandwiches you packed for only a short period of time. If you’re going on an extended road trip, you will likely need to go out to eat. If you need to eat out, it would be a good idea to carefully select where you will eat. You should eat at a restaurant that offers outdoor seating and social distancing since this is the safest way to eat out right now.

Be careful when pumping gas

Many people touch a single gas pump in a day, and those pumps are not cleaned. You will need to put gas in the car throughout your road trip, so you should be careful when pumping gas. One suggestion is to wear gloves as you pump gas and touch only the gas pump/keypad when your hands are gloved. (This means, don’t touch your phone, your mask, or your face with your gloved hands, since then you will transfer the germs from the gas pump to those areas.) Throw away the gloves as soon as you are done pumping gas. Then, when you enter your car, immediately sanitize your hands. It’s also a good idea to pay with a card rather than with cash since paying with a card requires no interaction with people. These precautions will keep you safe as you put gas in your car during your road trip.

Confirm your reservations

Businesses have needed to quickly adapt to the ever-evolving health situation. This means a business that was open last week might not be open this week. A hotel that you reserved a room at (or a restaurant you reserved a table at) could have shut down since then. As part of your trip planning, you should confirm your reservations, just to make sure these places are still open.

When not in the car, keep distance from others not in your group

Finally, when you make a stop or when you reach your trip destination, it’s important to keep a distance from those not in your group.

Traveling during a pandemic will require you to take extra precautions. Still, doing these things will help you be safer as you travel.

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