Land Travel & COVID-19
COVID-19 has brought a slew of changes in trips with its travel restrictions. However, nothing stops the road trippers from hitting the road and cruising through the highways, albeit with safety precautions! After months in lock-down, travelers are slowly making road trips and traveling for work and pleasure to stretch their legs and sense the sights of the outdoors.
They maintain all protocols and take every safety measure to prevent risks of getting sick on the road. Be it using the mandatory mask or gloves; they ensure a safe and enjoyable getaway amidst the pandemic. If you plan to embark on a road trip, keep the following tips in mind for a safe travel experience.
Sanitize Your Vehicle
Sanitizing the vehicle and making it germ-free is essential in the pandemic situation. Always wear gloves and clean your vehicle (car or bike) with alcohol-based wipes. Ensure you clean the most-touched surfaces and cargo roof rack of the vehicle thoroughly and frequently to avoid any infection.
Store Sanitation Essentials
Store safety essentials like sanitizers and disposable tissues for the road. You might likely have a moment where sanitizing the surfaces on the road will be necessary. During that time, the essentials would come in handy. Also, keep hand sanitizers and make sure you use them as often as possible.
A road trip means pollution in addition to the threat of the virus. It is also likely that you wouldn’t find it convenient to wash clothes in every place you visit. As such, pack cover-ups and ample clothes to keep changing them throughout the journey. Make sure to carry disinfectants to keep the clothes germ free. When it comes to footwear, washable footwear is the best at this time.
Masks are the new normal, and a must-have to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Pack a pile of masks to fit for the entire journey. Wear a mask the moment you step out of your home until you reach your destination.
Plan Your Route
Gone are the days of a freewheeling road trip! Having a proper route plan is necessary with COVID containment zones cropping up here and there. Make yourself aware of the quarantine and containment zones that fall on the way and plan a proper and safe route. Also, various districts and states may have different travel restrictions. Know them before planning the route map so that you don’t end up in any trouble.
Plan Your Pit Stops
Get every updated information about the pit stops, including containment areas, availability of hotels, eateries, and information about the hospitals and medical facilities. This will ensure you have a convenient and safe road trip and get the essentials whenever you need them. Also, limit the number of pit stops in your journey.
Maintain Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene is a crucial factor in the time of the pandemic. Make sure you sanitize your hands and wash your face frequently. Keeping yourself clean is the way to be safe and to prevent germs. Always use the alcohol-based sanitizer whenever you touch surfaces like handles, doorknobs, and faucets.
Hotels and HomeStays
When making a reservation at your pit stop, check if the hotel or homestay has followed the safety COVID-19 guidelines or not. Many hotels require a 24 to 72-hour gap between occupancy for cleaning and sanitizing a room. It is essential to opt for a stay that has followed the safety standards thoroughly. Avoid housekeeping services if you plan to stay more than a day. Use sanitizing essentials frequently, and avoid elevators if possible.
Carry Food and Water
Carry enough food from home and avoid visiting restaurants and eateries. You never know whether those roadside eateries have followed the safety guidelines or not! If you have to stop for a snack on the road, opt for takeaways and restaurants that offer drive-through services. Wash your hands thoroughly before taking the food. Carry ample non-perishable food items and water bottles. Avoid sharing utensils with your travel mate. Also carry disposable dishes and spoons, to avoid any hassle.
Opt for contact-less check-ins and make digital payments as much as possible. Whether it is for gas, food, or any other purchase, pay with cards, not cash. Digital payments erase the face to face interaction. It also prevents the use of loose cash, which cannot be cleaned well with a disinfectant.
Bonus Tips for a Safe Road Trip
- Avoid touching the nose, eyes, and mouth. Use a sanitizer before touching if you have to.
- Whenever you sneeze or cough, do it on the insides of your elbow or use a tissue to cover the mouth and nose. This is both good manners and prevention of the spread of droplets.
- Regularly sanitize the hands when you enter and exit a vehicle.
- If you have to travel by bus, follow the safety guidelines stated by the government.
- While going on an overnight bus journey, carry your blanket and cover.
- If you are sick or down with cold, abstain from traveling at all.
- Practice social distancing as much as possible.
- Public restrooms are least disinfected and cleaned. As such, while traveling, use well ventilated or single-stall toilets to prevent infection and maintain distancing.
- Check travel quarantine rules and policies to ensure a convenient travel experience. Some states might require a COVID test report before letting you enter their territory. As such, get a test done and keep documents ready in place to avoid any hassle.
- Regularly check the state health department portals to get updated information about COVID guidelines and the spread of cases.
- Carry a thermometer to check your temperature regularly.
Road travel during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging, though not impossible. Practicing these necessary steps will keep you and everyone else safe in this dangerous pandemic situation. Follow the guidelines, load yourself with masks and sanitizers, and your road trip in the pandemic would surely be a memorable journey!