We’ve all spent more time at home in the last few months than we originally planned and probably more than we would have liked to. As things continue to change throughout the summer, many vacation plans look different than we thought they would too. A road trip is a great way to get away with your family. Some states still have certain social distancing guidelines in place so here are some tips to help you along the way!
Plan your route.
Some states still have restrictions on in-person toll collections and rest area food sales. Travel apps like Roadtrippers and AroundMe can answer one of the most common questions any traveler has: What’s nearby? These apps identify your position through GPS and allow you to choose from a list of places, including gas stations and hotels.
What to pack?
So now that you have your route thought out, it’s time to get supplies. Health officials recommend bringing along items like masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wet wipes, disposable gloves (for those germ-infested gas pumps) and resealable plastic bags so you can dispose of your gloves. You’ll need to be extra vigilant about hygiene when hitting rest stops with public bathrooms and gas stations along the way.
Pack your favorite road trip snacks, too, like apples or pretzels in mini-sized bags and bottled soft drinks (bring a small cooler if you want to keep them cold). This will limit your need to stop for them along your trip, which limits contact with others.
Where do you eat?
Seating capacity will be limited with groups sitting six feet apart and some states are only allowing outside dining. In states that have not yet given the green light for sit-down dining, there are still take-out and drive-through services available. And of course, the larger fast-food chains, like McDonald’s or Taco Bell are always good for quick and easy options.
Will rest stops be closed?
If you need a pit stop, the majority of state rest areas will be open, though some may be closed due to renovations. If they are open, remember to pay attention to hygiene. The restrooms are open to the public, which means you’ll be exposing yourself to more germs. So grab a paper towel or two before you touch the exit.
Staying safe at the pump.
Health officials recommend using disposable gloves while pumping your gas, rather than trying to wipe it down with a disinfecting wet wipe. You can easily discard the glove outside in the nearest trash can after you’re done pumping. While paying for your gas, use your credit card instead of cash if possible. This will eliminate the face-to-face contact with the cashier. Plus, your credit card can be wiped down after use.
Major hotel chains, including Motel 6, Best Western and Hyatt are still operating along the interstates but not all hotels have reopened after the pandemic. So if you do make reservations on the fly, it’s a good idea to reconfirm them before you get there.