The COVID-19 pandemic has made traveling more complicated. Even with vaccine rollouts, airlines aren’t yet running at full capacity. While international trips may be impossible, a road trip is doable. The Wonder Map offers a list of fun weekend getaways, from romantic holidays for two to beach trips.
You may also simply decide to take a road trip to see family or friends for the holidays. After the stress of COVID-19, spending time with loved ones is more important than ever before. There are still precautions you should take on a road trip, however, both from a COVID-19 and a general perspective. Here’s how to prepare a seamless and safe journey.
Equip your car for the weather
If you’re going somewhere snowy, outfit your car with winter tires. Even if you aren’t going somewhere cold, make sure your tires still have sufficient tread, which creates friction and prevents slipping on wet roads. To measure tread depth, Tire America suggests the penny test. Place a coin into the tire’s shallowest groove with Lincoln’s head pointed down. If the tread is so shallow that you can see the top of his head, it’s time for a replacement.
It’s also a good idea to get your car serviced before you go. A full service will include checks of the car’s oil, brake fluid, anti-freeze, lights, and more. Ingenie has a full list of what to expect. Finally, prepare your car’s interior for the long journey by adding some new floor mats. They will protect the interior from dirt, snow salt, road trip snack crumbs, and more. Check out online reviews to find well-rated products, taking into account factors like material.
Plan out your journey in advance, taking COVID restrictions into account
If you’re going on a longer trip that will require several days to complete, plan out your journey in advance. You should schedule in stops for refueling as well as pitstops for food and overnight accommodation. When searching for hotels, prioritize accommodation that has added COVID-19 safety measures, such as contactless payment and masking requirements. Although vaccines are being rolled out, many people don’t have them yet.
To route out your fuel stops, get GasBuddy, an app that lets you find affordable gas stations. You can even use their trip cost calculator to see how much you can expect to spend on fuel. You can also download the AAA app, which includes road trip planning features, lists AAA-inspected hotels, and more. Also, make sure to have the number for AAA or similar roadside service on hand before you go, in case you do run into car trouble.
Pack your car with road trip essentials and an emergency kit
When leaving for a trip, you’re probably focused mostly on packing your bags for your final destination. You should also load up your car with road trip essentials, however. Include snacks and water, so you can minimize food stops. Restaurant dining is considered high risk in terms of COVID-19 infections. If you have kids, load up a tablet with movies to keep them entertained during the drive. You can also play these fun road trip games together.
Finally, equip your car with an emergency roadside kit in case you do run into trouble while driving. The DMV has a list of items to include, like band-aids, hand sanitizer, jumper cables, road flares, and a flashlight and batteries. You can buy ready-made emergency kids or create your own using this resource.
COVID-19 has changed the world, and it’s also changed how we travel. It’s still possible to plan a fun and safe road trip, however. Let the above tips guide you as you plan your journey.