Coronavirus has undoubtedly changed the way we live and travel. After being months on lockdown, countries are slowly opening up their economy and dealing with coronavirus. It also implies that travel rules have undergone a tremendous change and are still highly dynamic.
Traveling is still not recommended until necessary due to the increased risk of the infection. But, for any travel enthusiast, it becomes inevitable and unavoidable. The pandemic has also made the road journey safer and better than air travel. If driving cross country is inevitable for you, here are some valuable tips for driving cross country safely amidst the pandemic.
1. Planning before traveling has become mandatory.
It might be the route that you have traversed a hundred times earlier. But, the COVID pandemic has made the pre-trip planning mandatory even for those well-trodden tracks. Before getting behind the wheels, you need to chalk out the route that you would be taking, the states you would be traveling, and all stops, including food, abode, etc. You must also research your final destination. As state borders have restricted going in some regions, mapping out all the pathways in advance can be essential.
Also, remember, the number of places you travel must be as less as possible. It is advisable to remain updated about the pandemic status and restrictions imposed across each state and border that you cross. Check out if you would be required to stay in quarantine or not. Once you have all the information, you can prepare accordingly and face the least inconvenience.
2. Get your car COVID-ready.
Today, it is imperative that you get your car COVID-ready before you embark on the trip. The foremost rule is to sanitize your car thoroughly before starting on the journey. Ensure that the tank is full, and you have an extra fuel stacked as well. The idea is to remain sanitized and practice social distance, as much as possible. There should be a good amount of sanitizer wipes and sanitizers stacked up in your vehicle. These have become as necessary gear for traveling as fuel for your car.
You would need to wipe the handle and all high-contact surfaces with the wipe every time the car makes a stop and people are embarking and disembarking. If you have kept your luggage in the roof rack, ensure that it is sanitized as is your luggage. You would also need to execute the sanitization process at your refreshment stops at refueling gas stations and even in your destination hotel.
3. Get Your COVID kit ready.
Another important tip is to get your COVID kit ready to avoid as much social interaction as possible. You must have masks and gloves for all riders with extra also thrown in. Soaps, sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes are a must as well. It is advisable to pack a cooler that has enough water, drinks, snacks, and even high-protein goodies. This would reduce the number of stopovers if you get hungry and help you drive safely. Additionally, talk to your healthcare provider and get all the medicines stocked up in the car, including a thermometer, antibiotics, immunity-boosting medicines, any disease-specific medicines, and any other medicines you might need.
You must also pack enough chargers, batteries, and even power banks. It means that you will be prepared for any emergency calling and remain updated on all changes that might have happened while you are on the road. Overall, you must plan like a demon to as minute detail as possible.
You need to have an arsenal while using gas stations and public toilets on the way. Have disposable gloves, toilet seat sanitizing disposables, and other relevant hygienic essentials to be completely ready to hit the road safely. Sanitize all faucets, handles, etc. before using any public washroom. Wiping them before you place your hands on them keeps you away from contagious virus. Once out, trash the disposable gloves and other waste. If a dustbin is unavailable, pack them in plastic bags and dispose of it in the first trash bin that you spot. If you are buying gas, it’s best to pay with the card rather than cash as it reduces face-to-face interaction. They can be easily disinfected later.
4. Travel with as few passengers as possible.
The risk of getting exposed to COVID increases with a higher number of passengers. Passenger numbers should not exceed two if you must travel with them. Or, why not try to drive solo? Solo trips have their fun and adventure.
Remember to sanitize your hands each time anyone gets into the car to avoid any kind of contamination. A mask should be in place at all times if not traveling solo. Air your car at stops to keep it fresh and germ-free. Likewise, try to avoid ride-shares like Uber. If you need to, exercise all social distancing and protection move to the core.
5. Stay in a place where social distancing is a natural outcome.
The hotel or any other accommodation that you choose for yourself is no less critical. Try to avoid high-rise hotels as it would mean more people are using the elevators. It would be smart to select a low-rise hotel with more rooms and fewer guests. Hotels without elevators would be a far safer option currently. Short-term rentals are also not a bad idea. Ensure that everything is sanitized, and the hotel is taking all precautionary measures as laid down in the guidelines.
The above tips would have you adequately covered, it might look or feel a little over the top, but the present scenario demands it. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You should take all the precautionary measures the second you step out of your home. Do not put a break on your road trips. Follow these safety tips religiously, and you’ll return hale and hearty from your long-awaited cross country trip.