Especially right now, a road trip means freedom--freedom from stay-at-home orders, freedom from the daily routine, and freedom to get a bit of that travel bug met. That said, road trips during this time aren't going to look at the same as they once did. We should not travel with all our friends packed in the vehicle, and we shouldn't book stays at hotels for nights on end.
Instead, these road trips should act as short escapades out into nature. Even if it's a road trip that only lasts a day, we can enjoy these moments alone, out in the world, heading to open national parks or flower fields to have a picnic beneath your favorite trees. Follow these smart safety tips for solo road trips--from keeping the trip short to bringing the right supplies with you. Get a bit of relief from the pandemic with a short road trip!
Plan Your Packing
Movies make the idea of hopping in the car and driving away quite appealing. Right now, that's definitely not the route you want to take for this trip. Planning out what you'll pack is probably one of the most important safety tips for solo road trips. You'll need to think about the necessities you need for social distancing, in addition to what's typically necessary for road trips. Here are some extras you'll need to include outside of the typical road trip packing needs:
- A stocked medical kit: plenty of masks, thermometer, gloves, wipes, any medicines
- Enough food and snacks to keep you stocked--limit your drive-thru visits, and don't go inside unless you need to
Stay in Touch
It's important for any solo road trip, but especially now, do your best to stay in touch. Let people know when you stop, when you get to your destination, when you leave, and how you're feeling. This last update is quite important--you want to stay aware of your body during trips. Fevers, coughs, and anything else should cut your trip short.
Know What to Do in Emergencies
Another tip that's important, pandemic or not, is to know what to do in emergencies. An emergency could mean a variety of things--flat tires, running out of gas, phone dying and no map, or back-up plans for when the beach is too crowded. Right now, it's important to be especially vigilant about safety. For example, roadside assistance agencies like AAA are always a go-to in case of vehicle emergencies, but if you can, try to limit your contact with others. This means understanding how to change a tire and the mistakes to avoid while doing so. If necessary, of course, reach out for roadside assistance.
Enjoy the Road
This isn't necessarily a safety tip, but it will make your trip safer in the long run. Road trips before the pandemic were about reaching various chosen destinations. Road trips now, however, should focus on the journey and enjoying the road. That means not heading as far away and, instead, stopping more along the way for a picnic on the side of the road, a walk through the trees beyond, and a rest in front of the beach. Enjoy the time you have away from home, even if it's just for a quick day road trip!