Safer Alternatives to Flying in 2020
If COVID-19 has you thinking about ways to satisfy your desire to travel while still respecting health guidelines, you may have considered taking a scenic, weekend, road trip as an alternative to flying. This may be a workable option for many, especially as more places open up. Read on for ideas and inspiration on planning a road trip and making it one of your most memorable vacations.
Road Trips Give You More Control as You Travel
Road trips are a safer alternative to flying because they tend to lead to less interactions with people, definitely fewer than would be necessary going through a security checkpoint in an airport or sitting in close proximity to strangers on a plane.
In addition to maintaining more control over your personal space you can also manage your timeline and make detours or changes based on the conditions around you. Building in a level of flexibility can make it easier to navigate COVID-19 considerations that are often in flux depending on location.
You can also choose destinations that are off the beaten path and are less likely to have crowds of tourists. Part of the joy of a road trip are the sights and sounds as you journey to your destination. If you are desperate to take a vacation that lets you switch it up from the view of your home office and neighbourhood this is a great way to do it.
Caution is Still Necessary
Staying home is still the best way to stay safe.
We also don’t want to bring the virus in from outside regions that may not have been impacted or with fewer health care or testing resources.
However, there are areas that are now open and businesses that could use visitors after months of closures and uncertainty looming in the months ahead. With the right level of diligence you can reduce the risk, get outside and support local businesses.
Be mindful that conditions can change quickly. Check with local authorities to stay current on the status of their case counts and protocols.
If You Decide to Travel, Be Prepared
You are travelling during a pandemic so make sure you pack COVID-19 protection since it may be hard to find on the road.
Be sure to include:
- Masks or face shields for each person in the car
- A bottle of hand sanitizer
- Disinfecting wipes and/or paper towels
- A box of disposable gloves
- Toilet paper
Road Trip In Style
Renting A Car
Since you will be driving for an extended amount of time, comfort is key. While going on a road trip may bring to mind a convertible with the wind blowing through your hair, there are also practical considerations. You may want to rent a car with more legroom and space in general as you will be spending a great deal of time in there and may end up eating in there as well. Perhaps getting a car with video screens to make the trip feel extra special and to keep children entertained.
Most rental companies have implemented touch-less check in/out and enhanced cleaning procedures to ensure the safety of their customers. You can also give the surfaces an additional wipe down for your peace of mind.
While you are on the road take extra precautions while using:
Bathrooms – Limit the time you spend in the bathroom. Wear a mask. Use your foot or toilet paper to flush. Wash your hand thoroughly and use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the door.
Gas Station Pumps – Wear gloves while pumping your gas as this is a high touch service. Discard safely. Then wash or sanitize your hands.
Restaurants – Bring your own food and snacks for the road. If you decide to stop at a restaurant drive through is likely safest. Also consider that depending on where you go restaurant staff may or may not be required to wear masks.
Elevate your road trip by planning luxury or unique accommodations along the way.
Image Credit: Djordje Petrovic
Booking a luxury cabin is another way to have a classy destination awaiting you after your scenic drive.
Experience the outdoors with all of the comforts of home like showers, hotel quality linens and top-notch amenities. Often these cottage retreats have gorgeous panoramic views.
Consider staying in a tiny cabin or yurt. This offers you the change of scenery you desire whether you want to be on or off the grid. They can be rented close to a wide array of natural wonders including breathtaking mountain ranges, hiking trails for all skill levels, beautiful waterfalls and waterways.
Get out on the open road and enjoy the comfort and convenience of this transportation and accommodation combo. RVs give you the chance to explore at your own pace. Stopping and starting where you want. They are pet-friendly so are free to bring along your furry companions. Or hitch a bike so you can get some pedalling in while parked.
Many private campgrounds are open with physical distancing in place and are ready to welcome guests.
Image Credit: Matt Hardy
If hotels are your preferred option, now might be the best time to secure an excellent room at a great rate. Most hotels are also offering touch-less check-in and enhanced cleaning services for the comfort and security of their visitors.
You may want to consider declining room service to limit the number of people in and out of the room.
As businesses shift to accommodate the travel climate we now live in it is often easier to negotiate free cancellation should your plans need to change.
Parting Road Trip Advice
It’s wise to do a bit more research and planning when travelling during this time. There are the ever important health concerns. Should you consider getting travel insurance? What are the guidelines where you will be headed? Are masks mandatory? Will you be required to quarantine?
However, also need to think about how tourism may have shifted where you are going. Are tourist destinations seeing surges in local visitors? What are the hours of operation for landmarks and activities? Are they limiting visitors to accommodate physical distancing? Remember to pack your patience and be flexible.
While it might be tempting to get the crew together for an epic road tripping adventure it is safest to travel with only people from your household. Including more people in your travel bubble increases the risk.
Stay ever diligent about hand washing, make a great road trip playlist and have an awesome (safe) trip!
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