·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Health & Medicine

6 Best Practices for Staying Safe When Traveling by Car during COVID-19

— August 3, 2020

Even though some of these precautionary measures might seem excessive or drastic at first, caution and prevention are essential for slowing down the spread of coronavirus.

We are living in truly unprecedented times; travel after COVID-19 has completely transformed, and most of us feel as if we can’t stay safe and protected, no matter where we go. But at the same time, the pandemic has also drastically lowered the prices, prompting a significant number of people to utilize this unique opportunity to travel. If you are eager to go on a solo vacation or a long-distance family car trip during this period as well, read on to find the best and most efficient practices that will allow you to stay safe and sound during the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Plan your route in advance

Now more than ever, advanced planning and preparation is essential for a successful road trip. The biggest issue you might face is the fact that many petrol stations and rest stops could be closed due to the pandemic, which is why it pays to research any stops on your route in advance. What’s more, as many stops for food and refreshments would require masks, sanitization and social distancing, it would be wise to plan very minimal and less frequent stops, and to opt for those rest areas that are located in the open air, for a safer travel experience. As you plan your road trip, don’t forget to research good car insurance policies that will keep you protected on your journey.

2. Stock up on essential supplies

The wisest thing you could do is pack a cooler with water and other drinks, as well as pre-made food and snacks. That way, you will be able to eliminate the need for additional stops, thus minimizing your exposure to the coronavirus. Plan to eat and drink in your car as well, and bring paper cups and plates, or even their reusable alternatives for a more eco-friendly travel option. Don’t forget to stock up on disposable masks and gloves, as well as hand sanitizers or disinfecting wet wipes, to maintain hygiene and remain protected on the road. If you’re traveling with children, pack a few safe toys or smart devices to keep them calm and entertained.

3. Invest in a quality car seat

Although safety should always be the most important aspect of traveling, it becomes even more crucial when you are going on a road trip with your family, and especially small children. In that case, it would be wise to look into some of the best baby car seats available on the market, which will help keep your children safe and sound on the road. However, you have to make sure that you’re getting exactly the right one for your needs, so don’t forget to check trusted online reviews, guides, and product comparisons before making a purchase.

Young boy in a car seat; image by xordroyd, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.
Young boy in a car seat; image by xordroyd, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.

Apart from keeping them comfortable and shielded in case of an accident, a good car seat will also allow your child to be stationary, preventing them from moving around the vehicle, or even exiting the car and potentially contracting the dangerous virus.

Clean and disinfect your car

Maintaining proper hygiene during the pandemic extends to your vehicle as well. Before you leave for your vacation, thoroughly clean and disinfect the areas of your car that are most frequently touched, such as door handles, the steering wheel, the gearstick, and the controls, and then periodically disinfect them again when on the road, for optimal protection. Alcohol might be the best option for cleaning and disinfecting, as it will efficiently kill the virus, while being perfectly safe to use in the car’s interior, without damaging any materials in the vehicle.

Fill up your vehicle safely

If you’re going on a longer road trip, chances are high that you will need to buy fuel or recharge your vehicle at some point. In that case, pay very close attention to hygiene at petrol stations. In order to minimize contact with other people, it would be ideal to opt for self-service stations, and use a contactless method of payment that will prevent you from touching too many different surfaces. Fill up or recharge your vehicle completely, to avoid making additional stops, and don’t forget to wash your hands or disinfect them with a hand sanitizer after using pumps, to ensure you stay healthy and safe during your travels.

6. Choose accommodation carefully

In case you need to stay somewhere overnight, it would be wise to book the accommodation in advance, as some hotels situated alongside highways and larger roads might be closed due to the pandemic. Make sure you do thorough research before opting for accommodation as well, and only choose the hotels that are taking additional precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, such as using contactless guest check-in procedures and hospital-grade disinfectants. Even then, make sure to use your own sanitizing supplies to clean any high-risk surfaces when you arrive, and forgo any housekeeping services, in order to minimize the number of people entering your room.

Even though some of the aforementioned precautionary measures might seem excessive or drastic at first, caution and prevention are essential for slowing down the spread of coronavirus. The more you respect these measures during your road trip, the more you can reduce the risk of infection, and the more you can enjoy your travels.

Join the conversation!