Earlier this month, we went on a road trip. The first trip of any kind that I’ve taken since March 2020, and the first trip my husband has been on since September 2019. While we’ve been doing our best at home and doing many short staycations, it was nice to leave our house and get in new surroundings. We made sure we were as safe as possible – for us and others – to make sure we were following guidelines. So, now that I’ve taken this trip, let me give you some tips on how to safely take a road trip during this time.
Bring a mask for (at least) every day of your trip
Masking is still important and 100% necessary wherever you go. I have plenty of masks that I rotate through (as you probably have seen on my Instagram) and I washed them all before I left and packed them all in their own separate bag. Once we’ve worn one for the day out, it went into the laundry and we used a new one.
Luckily, everywhere we went people were masked up (there was one guy not wearing one, but he was outside and standing at least 6′ away from cars while scanning tickets for the ferry), even when we drove past people hiking, they were wearing masks outside all on their own. Every business we went into had a sign that asked people to either use their handwashing station or use the provided hand sanitizer before going in. Anytime we were out of the car, we were masked up and had sanitized our hands.
Bring your own food
While we stopped for food a few times on the way there and back, we also brought our own. We always bring food for the dog, but I also bring snacks, drinks, and items to make sandwiches and such. When we arrived, we went to the grocery store for a few other things, because most places weren’t open, even for take-out.
When we did stop for food or got food at our destination, we ordered ahead and picked up or used the drive-thru. There was one exception, and that was one breakfast at a coffee shop, but we ordered our food and then waited outside for 20 minutes until it was ready. As always, we either ate at a park or back at our rental, after cleaning our hands, either with sanitizer or washing or both. On the evening when nothing was open for pick-up, we made our own food in our rental’s kitchen (I cobbled together a delicious cinnamon peanut butter French toast with bananas).
|My rest stop MVPs|
Bring bathroom essentials
Nature calls on road trips. Right now, you can’t go inside to use public restrooms, so your choice is basically rest areas. Now, I’ve been to a lot of very badly-maintained rest stop bathrooms, so I knew I needed to be prepared. I brought a bag that had toilet paper, paper towels, water, sanitizing spray, TP Kits, Fanny Pacs, lotion (for after all the handwashing), potty bags for the dog, and plastic bags for garbage.
You never know what you’ll encounter on any given trip, and we were lucky to stop at rest stops that were well-stocked and clean, but that doesn’t mean you always will. I’m very happy I brought all these things, especially since a few places had hand dryers that didn’t work well, and I needed the paper towels to properly dry my hands, and one didn’t have soap, so I was able to use my sanitizer in a pinch.
Keep your phone charged
This might sound really stupid, but I also kept a back-up battery with me, for when we were using our phones in the car while it wasn’t running, like sitting at the ferry dock for over an hour. This is not just for playing on your phone though. Here are other reasons I keep my phone charged:
- To look up dining establishments
- And to order food via app or phone call while on the move
- not just of cool stuff you see, but because of Covid, rest stops no longer have brochures like they normally would, so you may want to take a picture of an ad or a map they have posted to remember later
Have some cash on hand
Keep an eye out for viewpoints
Visit state parks and other free outdoor activities
Enjoy a walk around town to enjoy free art
Want to read more tips for traveling worldwide on a budget? Check out my blog at Shereen Travels Cheap or find me on Facebook or Twitter. You’ll also find product and website suggestions, packing tips, current deals and a whole lot more to help you travel better for less!
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