We hit the road for part three of our series about traveling during the pandemic for some tips if you plan to take a road trip for any of the upcoming winter holidays.
Driving has been the preferred mode of transportation for vacations during the pandemic according to travel surveys. “That’s because road trips provide a lot of flexibility and, especially this time around, comfort," says AAA spokeswoman Jeanette Casselano. "You’re in your own vehicle, you’re among your family, you’re among your friends.”
But once you leave the bubble of the inside of your car, there are safety steps you can take to limit your potential exposure to the coronavirus. First off, gassing up. Dr. William Greenough, an expert in infectious disease at Johns Hopkins University, describes how he keeps himself safe at gas stations.
“I have a Clorox spray," he says. "I have wipes with 70% alcohol. Computer punch-in, I wipe that down. I wipe down the gas handle.” And that goes for any surfaces inside rest areas or restaurants.
Casselano says if you want to minimize stops, bring your own food. “It’s packing more food and supplies for your full trip,” she says.
AAA offers a couple resources to help plan your trip. A COVID-19 travel restriction map shows which areas around the country are experiencing spikes and where there are travel restrictions. TripTik allows you to chart your route, even picking rest areas and where to eat so you have more time to concentrate on the scenery.
If you haven’t been driving much lately because you’ve been close to home, AAA also recommends checking all of your car’s fluid levels and tires before you head out.