It’s no secret that the airline industry has taken a huge hit this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with total losses expected to be more than 40 billion dollars worldwide. Though the airline industry is struggling to make ends meet, family road trips are making a massive comeback. According to CNBC, 46 million Americans are planning to take a road trip in 2020, up from 25 million in 2019. People are opting for trips within driving distance rather than having to hop on a plane because of the fear that aviation travel may not be safe enough or clean enough in these uncertain times.
If you happen to be one of the many people looking to hit the open road in the near future, here are some tips to help keep you safe:
Do Your Research
Before leaving on your trip, do some research on the area that you plan on traveling to. There are areas throughout the United States that are considered COVID-19 hotspots, which means that you have a higher chance of contracting the coronavirus in these areas. Avoid these hotspots if possible and instead, choose a road trip destination that is considered safer to travel to.
Take a Trip Close to Home
When planning out your road trip, try to choose a destination that you can travel to on one tank of gas. Most cars can travel anywhere from 150 miles, all the way up to 700 miles on one tank of gas, depending on your car’s gas mileage.
It’s suggested that you plan your road trip based on how far your car can travel on one full tank of gas so that you don’t have to stop for gas along the way. The less you have to stop at a gas station and make contact with frequently touched gas pumps, the better chance you have of staying safe and healthy.
Bring Disinfectant Wipes
Disinfectant wipes are a major player in the fight against the coronavirus. According to Healthline, Lysol wipes are effective at neutralizing over 99 percent of the coronavirus, which is why you should bring them on your road trip. Wipe down frequently touched surfaces that you may come into contact with such as gasoline pumps, hotel remotes, and alarm clocks. Doing this will decrease your chances of contracting the virus from these objects.
Pack Some Travel Snacks and Drinks
You should try and avoid stopping for food at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants as much as possible. When you stop at these places, you will more than likely have to come into contact with servers, gas station attendants, or cashiers, increasing the risk of transmission from person to person.
Instead of stopping, pack some snacks and drinks from home. This way, you’ll avoid risking your health and the health of others, and on top of that, you’ll save some money.
Pay With a Card When Possible
When it comes to paying for things while on your road trip, try to pay with a card rather than cash whenever possible. When you pay with a card, more times than not, you are the one taking control of the transaction – you enter your chip or swipe your card, maybe enter your PIN, and then you’re on your way. But when you pay with cash, you usually have to come into contact with someone else, which raises your risk of contracting COVID-19.
Wear a Mask
Whenever you plan on going to any public areas such as a restaurant, the hotel lobby, a shopping center, or a gas station, make sure that you’re wearing a mask. Wearing a mask out in public has become a common thing over the course of the past few months for good reason. According to the Mayo Clinic, a cloth mask can trap droplets that are released when the wearer talks, sneezes, or coughs, which can prevent the spread of COVID-19 from people who may not know they have it.
Minimize Your Use of Housekeeping
Don’t get us wrong, we love walking into a clean room and seeing our hotel bed made and fresh towels hanging, but considering the uncertainty of the world right now, it’s best if you opt out of housekeeping during your next hotel stay. According to WebMD, COVID-19 can live on some surfaces for days, and you may be at risk if a staff member from housekeeping ends up touching objects in your hotel room.
We understand that times are uncertain and unpredictable at the moment. If you plan on taking a road trip in the near future, please be responsible. Doing so will help to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and can help to keep you and others safe, happy, and healthy. Remember at the end of the day, we are all in this together.