This holiday season looks a little different for many Americans. Some are opting to drive to see friends and family for Thanksgiving and Christmas instead of flying. Here are a few tips to stay safe while road-tripping during a pandemic:

  • Have a plan. Regardless of where you’re going, know the latest health restrictions and travel requirements – some change often – including if lodging, parks, and other places are open. Will your destination be crowded? Try to avoid high-density places and to remain outdoors where there’s plenty of room to socially distance.
  • In route, minimize your time spent in high-traffic areas like public restrooms and gas stations.
  • Gas pump handles and payment pad buttons are prime contaminant hotspots. Either wear disposable gloves and then strip them off properly and throw them away before you re-enter your vehicle, or use hand sanitizer before you touch anything else in your car.
  • Avoid using cash and pay with a credit / debit card or use contactless methods like Apple Pay.
  • Plan ahead for food and snacks. Grocery-shop and bring as much food as possible so you don’t have to keep running into convenience stores or resorting to restaurants so often. Use drive-through places and avoid dining in if possible.
  • Assemble a sanitation kit including disinfecting wipes, face masks, disposable gloves, hand sanitizer, disposable plastic bags, and tissues.
  • Clean your vehicle regularly with disinfectant wipes if you’ve been touching potentially contaminated surfaces. That means interior and exterior door handles, gearshift knobs, steering wheel, keys, start buttons, consoles, armrests, and all dashboard switches and controls.
  • Choose your hotel carefully. Try to stay at larger corporate-chain hotels that cater to business travelers; they’re likely to have stricter disinfectant procedures than franchise places, which may cut corners. Many, like Hilton and Marriott, are partnering with major medical institutions in sanitation protocol.
  • Staying in a rental property? Airbnb has instituted major health and safety guidelines, but, as with any other lodging, doing your research and communicating with your hosts ahead of time is a must. Consider renting an entire property that you’ll have all to yourself instead a room in a shared space.

Travel this holiday season will take a little extra planning, precautions and common sense, but don’t let that stop you from safely seeing those you love. Tips from www.drivingtherealworld.com