How to plan a summer road trip in 2020. Things to think about to keep yourself and others healthy while on the road.
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How to Plan a Summer Road Trip in 2020
What You'll Find on This Page
We have some great tips, but first and foremost check out the CDC coronavirus considerations for travelers. Once you’ve done that, keep reading!
The pandemic has killed off plenty of enthusiasm for meeting up with friends at everything from concerts to national parks. Yet the roads that link our great nation remain open for business, and for those itching to let their spirits roam free, a well-planned road trip can be just the solution for the lockdown doldrums. There are several ways to see some sights while staying safe, so your memories of this time aren’t restricted to takeout and Netflix.
Fill the Tank Today
Whether you intend to go from state to state in a massive RV or set out in a gas-sipping hybrid, fuel likely will never be cheaper than it is today. With oil trading below $40 per barrel and occasionally even dipping below zero, gas prices are only going to go up over time.
Fill up your main tank — plus your spare tank and emergency tank, if possible. The more you’re able to fill up now, the less you’ll have to worry about wiping down the pump handle at sketchy stations in unfamiliar places later.
Don’t Think You Have to Rough It
Camping out beneath the stars is a gift every person should enjoy on a vacation. Yet the lap of luxury can be just as lovely, especially since so many hotels are offering dirt-cheap rates for upscale services. Today, 80% of hotel rooms are empty, so their owners are willing to offer great deals — plus the new bonus of extra hygienic services and amenities.
Be Ready for Hazards
A sprained wrist or a twisted ankle isn’t worth a trip to a hospital in normal times. And it certainly isn’t when the hospital is overrun by patients carrying an infectious disease. Any road trip presents the risk of hazards, from choking to heat exhaustion. A passenger properly trained in first aid and CPR is worth their weight in gold. Bring a first-aid kit for basic wounds, sunburns, bee stings, and etc. Double-check that you’ve got all the necessary prescription medications with you.
Make a Travel Diary
How many specific days from past vacations can you remember with clarity? Often, we only remember the major highlights (or lowlights), so why not keep a travel diary?
A vacation log can be fun to look over afterward to help you remember the details of a trip. And if you make it a digital social media diary, you’ll get plenty of attention from friends.
Bring Your Own Bags
Between cities that restrict the use of plastic bags and the risk of infection from touching anything, anywhere, it’s a great idea to bring your own tote bags for supplies and laundry. You can find plenty of affordable, reusable bags online, including branded bags with your family name or logo for easy identification. Better still, putting clothes in reusable bags helps you cut down on superfluous clutter in a crowded car.
Try New Things
What’s the point of a road trip that doesn’t challenge your senses, your mindset, or your emotions? There’s a difference between getting out to see the world and looking through a picture book of famous places; experience is one of the things that defines us as people. A road trip, whether large or small, can be a means of testing yourself: your navigation skills, your bladder limits, your ability to drive a new type of car altogether. If you do it right, you’ll come back with a changed perspective.
Make Cleanliness Key
Some of us can manage a dirty car better than others, whether it’s a mud-spattered windshield or a dog-fur-laden seat or empty soda bottles. There’s nothing wrong with a messy car, but these days, you need to make extra-certain you aren’t contributing to viral spread while you’re rolling through America.
Bring enough soap and hand sanitizer to clean your hands after you touch surfaces at every place you stop. Use a face mask whenever you are indoors or within 6 feet of others outdoors. Do your best not to touch your face. A road trip shouldn’t put you in peril, and shouldn’t put anyone you meet at risk, either. Re-read those CDC guidelines for travelers to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
The summer of 2020 won’t be remembered for its awesome new adventures unless you strive to make it memorable. A road trip can be the perfect break from a dreary routine, whether it involves family or friends or the solitude of a solo trip. Plot out a route, make some online reservations, and create a checklist of cleaning, first-aid, and road supplies. Then make your Plan A (and Plan B and Plan C), shift into gear, and burn some rubber.
Are you taking a summer road trip in 2020? What are your top tips?
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Molly Barnes is a full-time digital nomad, exploring and working remotely in different cities in the US. She and her boyfriend Jacob created the website Digital Nomad Life to share their journey and help others to pursue a nomadic lifestyle.