It’s a given. With dead bodies piling up and hospitals reaching full capacity, people are bound to live in fear. Add to the mix the news that trumpets how the world and its fight against a deadly virus are still raging for over a year now, and you know something’s gotta give. To make matters worse, the economy is in shambles, with business still not in full swing. Small wonder mental health issues are shooting up all over America.
This is exactly why the time is ripe for a road trip. Indeed, there may not be a better time to take on the road and enjoy the blessings of nature. Imagine how many months you have been staying basically in the same place. And that certainly holds for your next of kin and closest friends. Taking a break from all the hustle and bustle brought by the daily grind can be a surefire way to relax and rejuvenate. And what would be a better way to get it done than by satisfying your wanderlust?
The good news is traveling now is a lot safer now these days with the vaccine out. But that should not be a cue for you to nix safety protocols against the virus. With that in mind, here are essential tips you should keep to make your road trip a whopping success.
Make Sure Your Vehicle is Ready
The longer your road trip, the more stressful it becomes for your car. If you’re not careful, your car could give up on you in the most inhospitable of places. Then, you’d have to count your lucky stars you and your friends survive in one piece. The story of the 39-year-old Australian who died in extreme heat after his car bogged down in the Outback should put things in perspective.
Make sure that before you ever embark on a long road trip, your vehicle is up to the task. Get this done ahead of time. Take note that these are not normal times, and repair shops and gas stations may be open for a limited number of hours.
A crucial step for you, for instance, is to ensure your car’s transmission lines are in tiptop shape. If not, you should take your vehicle to an auto transmission repair professional to be checked. You must do so. If your transmission goes out, the gears of your car stop turning. Then, you may as well consider walking the rest of the way.
Added to that, you should make sure the mechanic has things in order (e.g., power steering, oil, brake, tires).
Bring Emergency Essentials
In any road trip, the essentials are a must-bring. But as supplies may not be as available to you these days as before, you should bring an ample amount for everyone’s safety. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to take with you:
- Waterproof matches
- Emergency flares
- First aid kit
- Spare tire
- Tire repair kit
- 5 gallons drinking water
- Jumper cables
- Towels and rags
- Ample snacks
Carry Ample Supply of PPEs
You really can’t sideline safety in these times. That’s why bringing with you an ample supply of personal protective equipment should be wise for you and everyone on board. We’re talking about face masks, face shields, hand sanitizers, soap, alcohol, and disinfectants. Know that you may not be able to pick these up while on the road, so pack enough supplies for everyone.
Research Ahead Each State’s Local COVID Mandates
Not everyone is in total lockdown these days. Not everyone is in stay-at-home orders. You must do your due diligence and know the requirements for each state that you’re bound to pass. And that should include local mandates on the tourist attractions on your list. Of course, this means you need to plan your road trip. When you have your itinerary in order, checking on state websites and local tourism websites should be wise. Additionally, taking a closer look at the latest CDC guidelines for road travel is spot on.
Book Lodging Ahead
No doubt there’s a lot of adrenaline rush in making those spur-of-the-moment decisions such as lodging. Unless you travel via a camper truck or a trailer, you’re bound to get some shuteye in a comfy lodging. That’s actually healthy before the virus.
These days, however, you’d fare better if you research lodging ahead of time. It’s best to book ahead so you won’t have to sleep in your car. But before you do that, make sure you have done a little research. Know if these lodgings are safe and practice COVID protocols.
Don’t Miss Out on Nature.
If you really want to make the most of your road trip, map out your stops. List down natural sites that are a must-see. Know that spending time with nature is giving yourself and your travel buddies time to refresh and heal, not to mention have the time of your life in the process.