Road Trip! Tips for taking a road trip during a global pandemic!

By: Denise Koslowsky

Summer is nearly here (officially tomorrow) and that means it’s time to pack up the car and hit the road.  This year with the Coronavirus pandemic making air travel a major concern for many, road trips are sure to be more popular than ever before.

Since the third Friday in June is Take A Road Trip Day and this year’s road trip may look different than it ever has before, we thought we would share our thoughts on making sure your road trip is a safe one.

Advocate’s Road Trip Rules During This Pandemic

  • Plan ahead.  Your 2020 road trip will different than previous years, but you can still have a seamless trip if you do a little extra planning.
    • Learn the social distancing rules.  Guidelines regarding social distancing vary from state to state so you will need to take the time to familiarize yourself with the rules in each state you plan on passing through.
    • Make hotel reservations in advance.  Some hotels may not be open or be fully staffed.  This could mean no one is available at the front desk to accommodate off-hour check-ins.  Plan your stops in advance and contact the hotels ahead of time so you don’t run into any surprises.
    • Plan for meals and snacks.  Restaurants may not be open or may only be providing takeout.  Researching your stops ahead of time so that you don’t end up without a place to grab a bite, or avoid the uncertainty altogether by packing a cooler with plenty of food and beverages for the trip.
    • Consider alternatives for pit-stops.  It may not be a bad idea to consider investing in a porta-potty.  Not only will it cut down on the stress of not being able to find a bathroom that is open for business, you may give yourself some peace of mind.  Bathrooms are germ factories and anything you can do to limit your visits, can reduce your risk of getting sick.
  • Take full advantage of technology.  Download apps for gas stations and chain restaurants that will allow you to order and pay online without the need for face to face interactions.
  • Bring supplies.  It may be wise to bring hand sanitizer, handy-wipes, disinfectant, toilet paper and masks as well as any other items that have been in short supply.  You don’t want assume you can pick something up along the way and then be proven wrong!
  • Wash your hands.  The rules at home are the same as the rules on the road, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
  • Wear your mask. Wearing a mask is not just for your protection, it lets everyone you come in contact with know that you are taking extra precautions to ensure their safety.
  • Be respectful!  An awareness of the rules and regulations shows that you care about your fellow travelers!  Wearing your mask and keeping your distance is good for your safety and for the safety of everyone around you.
  • Tip Big!  Remember that many people in the service industry may have been out of work during the stay-at-home orders so give big tips everywhere  you go!

Of course, all the regular rules for road trips apply.  You’ve heard them all before but they do bear repeating:

  • Resist the urge to publicize your trip online.  We all love to post pictures on social media but we want to be sure that your home remains safe while you are gone!  Post your photos after you get home.
  • Wear sunscreen.  Not just on the beach!  You are exposed to the suns damaging rays while you are driving so consider slathering up before you load up the car and hit the road.
  • Don’t leave valuables in plain sight.  Thieves are everywhere, including rest stops and gas stations so when you hop out of the car for a bathroom break or to stretch your legs, be sure you put your phones, wallets and electronic devices out of sight.
  • Remove all your valuables from the car when you exit the vehicle.  If doors are left unlocked or windows are left open, any valuable you leave in the car are fair game.
  • Make frequent stops.  It is recommended that you stop every two hours for at least 15 minutes to prevent driver fatigue.  Additionally, the recommended maximum number of hours to drive per day is 8.

Our final piece of advice?
Try your best to enjoy this time with your friends and family.  Road trips are great for creating memories that last a lifetime.  So take some time to plan, follow the rules, take a deep breath and then hit the road and enjoy!

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