As we are all aware, travel for many of us has drastically changed. We are all trying to adjust to the new normal while also trying to live a resemblance of our lives from months ago. As places continue to open up, whether it be hotels or restaurants, more of us continue to look for ways to travel while easily practicing social distancing and good hygiene guidelines post-COVID-19.
One of the best ways to do so is a weekend road trip getaway as we adjust to COVID-19. You can safety isolate yourself in the car while being on the American Road – feeling the breeze kiss your face, the soft touch of the searing wheel in your hands and the freedom it provides – its not forget it is a great excuse for a change of scenery. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your road trip.
Understand the risk
Traveling involves frequently moving from from one destination to the next. You’re exposed to many public spaces and surfaces from every door knob you touch to every gas pump you hold to every chair you sit on. The more you move the more you become exposed. Being mindful of what you touch versus how many times you sanitize or wash your hands makes all of the difference. It is better to wear gloves when touching the public gas pump and switch to only cashless transactions to minimize touching openly available surfaces.
Look to travel to cities with the lowest COVID-19 cases and break them into towns or counties like Northeastern states like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Philadelphia, & DC. Make sure your car is in shape, by getting it serviced or inspected to avoid any unnecessary issues during your trip. Make sure to understand the highways you’ll be on, the states you’ll be crossing into and any travel advisories you need to be aware of.
Bring your own supplies
Make sure to always have your hand sanitizers and mask on you everywhere you go. It is also good to have any disinfecting wet wipes, and disposable gloves if or when additional cleaning and sanitizing is needed. Loading up on a case of water and snacks helps to decease the numbers of stops you’ll have to re-load on refreshments.
Make your travel plans flexible
Traveling during uncertain times anything can change in the blink of an eye. A place you just traveled to can be become an outbreak epicenter the very next day. Plan your trips with the mindset that you may either have to make last minute changes or cancel altogether.
Practice social distancing at your hotel
Every hotel continues to enforce their own mask-wearing requirements, social distancing guidelines, cleaning procedures and how many guests are allowed on a given night. Make sure to understand how and what your hotel is doing to make sure you are as safe as possible. To take it a step further, call or email your hotel before either arrival or even booking. They will be more than happy to help you better understand their new safety policies currently in place. Some new changes include eliminating lobby seatings, contactless check-ins and check-outs and keyless entry – allowing you to turn your smartphone into your room key. Consider turning down housekeeping services to decrease the number of people come in and out of your room.
Be Kind and Show Empathy
While hotels are doing the best they can possibly do, guests need to also do their part in keeping their shared environment safe. Hotel staffs are human beings too and we as a collective travel community are here together. Know that every new guests brings in more potential germs into their place of work. It is your duty to make sure your hometown isn’t currently dealing with an outbreak before you decide to travel or you run the risk of spreading it to another town or city. This is the real reality are all dealing with, we have a responsibility towards each to do the right thing and play our part for everyone’s safety.
If you’re taking a road trip soon during Coronavirus, this is the perfect time to embrace and discover nature, enjoy some me-time on the road, or a read a new book on a rooftop during sunrise. If you love food, look into trying out the local cuisines with their own rich history. Do your part, practice social distancing guidelines, sanitize and wash your hands after every public encounter, show empathy, embrace and adopt to new changes while traveling responsibly.
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By Chizoba Anyaoha
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