Preparing for a Road Trip During the Pandemic is so important. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that people vacation. From day trips to local parks to more extended vacations, traveling requires more preparation than it did in the past.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people stay home for the most protection. But if the need to get out of the house is overwhelming and you need to get in your car and go somewhere, anywhere to be out for a while, it is important that you prepare.
In addition to the regular safety checks of your vehicle, under pandemic car travel, you should also consider the following:
Health and Safety
-If you have a destination in mind, call ahead to find out if they are open. Even though many states have started lifting restrictions, many businesses are still closed or operating under limited hours. This is also true for state or federal parks.
-Find out about any restrictions in the area you intend to visit. Some areas have more local restrictions in place than others.
-Pack extra masks.
-Visit open spaces like state or federal parks so that you can enjoy the outdoors without overcrowding.
-If you are staying in a hotel, call ahead to make sure that they have rooms available. Many hotels are limiting the rooms they will rent each night to help with social distancing.
-Stop for gas sooner than you normally would. With so many businesses operating on limited hours, it is better to be safe than sorry.
-Bring personal supplies. Many public restrooms are experiencing shortages of toilet paper, hand towels, soap, and hand sanitizer. Having your own available will be beneficial.
-Use gloves when pumping gas.
-Pack bottled water and some snacks in your car in the event of a breakdown or if you cannot find an open restaurant.
-Make sure that you have a blanket or two in the car in case you are stranded.
-Make sure you have information for any roadside assistance program that you belong to programmed into your phone.
-Make sure that you keep your phone charged.
Checking your car over prior to your road trip is the best way to protect yourself from avoidable breakdowns or other problems.
– Have your oil changed. Many of the oil change services are still operating, and you can use this service without having to have contact with service providers.
-Check all your fluid levels. Make sure that your windshield wiper fluid is filled. —Check the radiator and oil fluid levels.
-Check your hoses to make sure they are secured in place and that they do not feel too soft. Soft hoses are a sign of wear and a potential for break down.
-Check tire pressure and make sure that the tread on your tires is good for a road trip. Low tread is dangerous. Many tire service companies have remained in service.
-Check to make sure that your heater or air conditioner is working.
-If it has been a while since you have had your brakes checked, have them checked or replaced.
-Check your wiper blades. Windshield wiper blades only last six months to a year, depending on the weather conditions in your area.
-Check your tail lights, brake lights, turn signals, and headlights to make sure that they are all in working condition.
-Make sure that your phone is paired with your car so that you are not being distracted by the device while driving.
-Make sure that you have your registration and insurance information in the glove box.
If you are not familiar with a lot of these areas of your vehicle, it may be in your best interest to have it looked over by a mechanic before departing on your vacation. It is always better to be prepared than to have your vacation ruined by a breakdown.
Final Things To Consider When Traveling During A Pandemic
It is very important to understand that traveling during a pandemic is very different than during regular times. When you are traveling down the interstates, there may be fewer rest areas available depending on the regulations in place in that state. It is also important to remember that emergency services may take longer to arrive in any area.
You can go on a road trip during a pandemic if you plan properly and are willing to enjoy the areas you visit with limited times. Plan to visit more outdoor adventures like national or state parks, and you may even want to consider camping instead of staying in a hotel.
Preparing for a Road Trip During the Pandemic by preparing yourself and your car to make sure that you can make it to your destination and back safely. Stop often for gas to make sure that you find an open station. And always keep some extra supplies like food, water, hand sanitizer, and blankets in the car.
The CDC encourages everyone to limit interactions with others and preferably to stay home. However, if you do go out, make sure that you go out safely.