Planning for a road trip during this coronavirus outbreak? As holidays roll about and restrictions are starting to ease around the country, going on a long-distance road trip sounds like the best idea to ease those restless travel bugs.
In fact, a Harvest Hosts survey shows 2021 to be the year of the road trip and notes that many Americans are ready to travel domestically. Though not by plane, many prefer RV travel instead as a more economical option for accommodation while avoiding crowded spaces.
Then again, embarking on a road trip is no simple undertaking, with or without a pandemic. To make sure you will have a fun and safe road trip during your holidays, here are a few helpful tips to take note of while road-tripping during the pandemic.
Check Your Vehicle Condition
Road trips are great, but only if you don’t run into any car problems. This may be a flat tire or failing engine, and it can cost extra during emergencies. Plus, the thing is, you know you can easily avoid all this if you have checked your vehicle condition for the big journey.
So before you hit the road, make sure you bring your vehicle to the mechanic for preventive maintenance. Check your brakes and battery if they are in good condition, examine your tires’ air pressure to see if they are ideal. When the air pressure is too low, it can consume more fuel due to the more vigorous friction between the tires and the road.
Also, inspect your vehicle fluids to ensure they are within normal functioning parameters. For safeguard, you can even consider bringing some extra fluids in your trunk, along with a spare tire and emergency roadside assistance kit in your bunk.
But honestly, it’s hard to predict what will happen on the road. Even with the best preparations, with your vehicle traveling long miles, there is still a chance that accidents may occur.
So last but not least, write down the contact number of the towing service in the area you are traveling. Because you never know if you will be stranded in the middle of nowhere with no network connectivity.
Plan Some Road Entertainment
A long road trip can feel exciting at first, but the feeling can quickly wear out when you look at the same scenery repeating outside your window. Not to mention, you may start feeling uncomfortable with every passing hour being stuck in the car.
Especially if your road trip will span several days, you’d definitely want to plan the process as well as the end destination. Include rest stops along the way for everyone to stretch and take a breather. Add detours to local landmarks or delicious food spots to make the whole process to your destination more exciting.
You can also plan some entertainment during the drive, like having a karaoke session with a playlist of everyone’s favorite songs. Or, if you are traveling with kids, you can even play some fun road trip games like ‘I spy’ or a deck of cards to pass the time.
Another great idea you can consider is to document your trip. Whether it’s just Instagram or recording with a video camera, this will give you and your travel companion some activity to do during the long journey. Plus, you will have something to remember from the trip.
Stay Hydrated and Well-Rested
Get a full night’s sleep before you hit the road. Studies have shown that drowsy driving is the same as drunk driving. If you are awake for more than 18 hours, your ability to drive is impaired in the same way as drinking alcohol. Lack of sleep can make you less alert and result in slow reflexes, dizziness, and blurred vision, which is dangerous if you drive on the road.
Another tip is staying hydrated to avoid experiencing tiredness or fatigue. We are constantly under the air conditioner in the vehicle, which can easily make us dehydrate faster, affecting your focus during the drive. So while you may want to avoid going to the toilet too often, you want to be constantly taking small sips of water to stay hydrated.
But still, we encourage you to take more frequent breaks on long-distance road trips. Because from a safety standpoint, it will keep your energy up and help you stay alert while driving.
Staying Safe During the Coronavirus Outbreak
As we are in extraordinary times, check for any COVID-specific travel restrictions when planning your road trip. Get your information from the state or territory health department to get the most up-to-date and accurate details.
Of course, pack a sufficient amount of masks, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer with you on your trip and use them often. Avoid touching your face and make it a habit to frequently sanitize your hands and clean surfaces.
Most importantly, keep yourself and your family safe. If anyone in your group is experiencing COVID-like symptoms, however mild, be sure to try and clear for COVID before leaving.