Travel restrictions during a pandemic may mean you have to cancel your flight to Bermuda, but you can still take a last-minute road trip to bring you the same sense of a vacation get away. After quarantining this spring and then being at home for of the summer, I decided my family needed a quick getaway before diving back into virtual learning for my 4 boys, yes you read that right, 4 boys!
According to recent survey research during the coronavirus outbreak by the U.S. Travel Association, 68 percent of travelers feel safest when traveling by car and visiting outdoor destinations such as the beach (Alder, 2020; Doherty, 2020). I completely agree with these findings and decided to plan a road trip to the Outer Banks. After having an amazing time, I recommend you plan one too using the following tips:
- Research regulations of the final destination: The Center of Disease Control (CDC) recommends checking locations to learn about required quarantine periods. We looked into possibly driving to Miami and found out a 14-day quarantine period was needed, which led us to choosing a different location.
- Smart Packing: Must haves include electronics for everyone with extra chargers and a MiFi for internet that travels with you. This will keep the whole family happy on the road. Another needed item is a cooler filled with a variety of snacks and extra water bottles. When you have 4 growing boys in a car, there’s never a shortage of bellies ready to eat more!
- Map your trip: Make sure you have a full tank to start, pack as much of the car the night before you leave, hit the road early, and plan to only stop for gas and bathroom breaks. Less stops means less exposure to busy locations.
- Picnic Stops: Now that you have a cooler packed with food, plan a stop with a view and enjoy a picnic with everything you packed.
- Prepare for sanitizing: Load the car with hand sanitizer and wipes. Although these are essential during COVID-19, they are also essential for parenting!
6. Masks for Sightseeing: Take in the sights and don’t forget the masks. Pack extras because they are bound to be lost along the way when kiddos are in tow.
7. Forgo Housekeeping: For overnight stays at hotels, plan to forgo the housekeeping. Although I typically love this service when traveling, skipping this during a trip will keep exposure to others down.
8. Call Ahead: Many restaurants are operating at 50% during this time. Therefore, reservations are a must at popular locations with a gorgeous view. Call ahead to ensure a table is available and use apps for downloading menus to decrease exposure to germs while dining.
9. Social Distance Once You Arrive: When you arrive at the beach, the first thing you may want to do is run into the ocean, but first find a good spot to set-up that allows for enough safe distance from others. Then dive into those waves!
10. Enjoy a technology break: With everyone working virtually during this time, most days are spent starring at a screen all day long. Put the tech away and recharge.
Sometimes you never know how much you need a break, until you take one. Although road trips look a little different these days, with the right preparation and planning they still have the power to bring you a renewed sense of adventure and back home with energy to face juggling virtual learning with 4 boys, multiple work roles, and the busy season ahead.
For more information on Riskovery Solutions and how they support your safety while traveling, please visit https://riskoverysolutions.com/contact-us/.
Alder, S.E. (2020). How to Stay Safe on a Road Trip During Coronavirus Outbreak. AARP. https://www.aarp.org/travel/travel-tips/safety/info-2020/road-trip-safety-during-coronavirus-pandemic.html
Doherty, P. (June 2020.) What to Know If You’re Planning a Road Trip This Summer. Travel + Leisure. https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/road-trips/road-trip-during-coronavirus-tips