The Coronavirus outbreak has undoubtedly changed the way we live and travel.
After being in lockdown for months, countries are slowly welcoming back travelers to boost their economy while still dealing with Coronavirus. Travel rules have undergone a tremendous change and are still highly dynamic and interchangeable as the whole travel industry adjusts.
Caution is being advised by governments when traveling due to the increased risk of infection. But, for any travel enthusiast, it becomes inevitable to find alternative ways to keep moving. The pandemic has made road journeys with cross country trains or other vehicles safer and more sought after compared to air travel.
If you enjoy driving cross-country to visit different locations of interest, here are some valuable tips for traveling cross country safely amidst the pandemic.
1. Journey and Route Planning 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 travel corridors that you would be taking, the states or countries you would be traveling through, and all stops, including food, abode, etc. You must also research your final destination. As state borders have restricted going to some regions, mapping out all the pathways in advance with a reliable journey planner can be essential.
Also, remember, the number of places you travel must be as little as possible. You could for example visit the top ten cities in the UK for summer stays. It is advisable to remain updated about the pandemic status and restrictions imposed across each state and border that you cross by checking updated travel quarantine lists of the countries you will be visiting. 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 your journey. Ensure that the tank is full, and you have extra fuel stacked as well.
The idea is to remain sanitized and practice social distancing, as much as possible. There should be a good amount of sanitizer wipes and sanitizers packed up in your vehicle. These have become 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 during every refreshment stop at refueling gas stations and even at 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 travelers with extras 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 will reduce the number of stopovers and help you lower the risks while driving 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 medical treatments you might need.
You must also pack enough chargers, batteries, and even power banks. It means that you will be prepared for any emergencies and remain updated on all changes that might have happened while you are on the road. Preparation is everything.
You need to have an arsenal of protective gear while using gas stations and public toilets on the way. Have disposable face masks, 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 the contagious virus. Once out, trash the disposable gloves and other waste while trying to recycle or reduce plastic waste. If a dustbin is unavailable, pack them in paper bags and dispose of it in the first trash bin that you spot. Paying with the card or mobile phone will be the preferred method rather than cash as it reduces direct contact. They can be easily disinfected later.
4. Adhere to Travel Restrictions and Reduce Passengers
The risk of getting exposed to COVID increases with a higher number of passengers. Traveler numbers should not exceed two if you must travel together with them. Or, why not try to drive solo? Solo trips have their own special flair and adventure.
Remember to sanitize your hands each time anyone gets into the car to avoid any kind of contamination. A mask should always be in place, if not traveling solo. Air your car regularly to keep it fresh and moving. Likewise, try to avoid ride-shares like Uber. If you need to, exercise all social distancing and health protection measures to the core.
5. Stay where Social Distancing is Natural
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 or hotels mainly hosting business events and people would be a far safer option currently due to fewer visitors. Short-term rentals, private homes or holiday homes are also not a bad idea, if not shared with others. Ensure that everything is sanitized, and the hotel is taking all precautionary measures as recommended in the government guidelines.
Safe Cross-Country Journeys are Possible
Following the above tips would have you adequately covered on your journey. 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. You do not need to put a break on your road trips as long as you follow these safety tips religiously.
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Make the most of your long-awaited cross-country trip.