This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information.
As states begin to re-open and loosen COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions, it is awfully tempting to travel again, especially on a road trip. In the safety of your own car, you don’t have to deal with the unwashed, germ-ridden masses at the airport or on an airplane. As an added bonus, gas is super cheap right now!
Before you hit the open road, what should you consider?
1. First and foremost, research whether your destination and any states you travel through have restrictions in place for out-of-state travelers, such as self-quarantine orders. This is especially true when you stop for the night at a hotel. Does the state have a mandatory quarantine for out-of-state visitors? States are reopening at different rates, so what is true for one state may not be true for a neighboring state. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides links to all state and territorial health departments to check the current status.
2. Determine whether sights you plan to see along the way are fully open or have partial closures in place. As of this writing, several National Parks in the western U.S. are reopening in phases. While some parts of the parks may be open, other parts may still be closed, including visitor centers and campgrounds. Tours and other activities may not be operating.
3. Research hotels along your route to pinpoint hotels that are operating and accepting reservations. Planning to camp instead? Do the same for campgrounds, especially if you plan to camp within state or national parks.
4. Plot out open gas stations/truck stops and restaurants on your route. Highway rest areas may or may not be operating. Fast food drive-thrus are probably a safe bet.
5. Consider taking along your own food and drinks to limit the number of stops. Saving money is an added perk!
6. Depending on local regulations, face masks may be required in public places, so pack some along and have them handy.
7. Take along gloves for pumping gas.
8. Pack hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. Wipe down surfaces inside hotel rooms, especially door handles, light switches, and the TV remote control. Hotel chains have sent out emails describing how they are better cleaning and sanitizing rooms during the pandemic, but it never hurts to clean commonly-touched surfaces again.
9. For those of you who snag the little shampoo and body wash bottles from hotel rooms (you know who you are), they serve double-duty as hand soap in a pinch. Stuff a bottle into your pocket or purse for public restrooms in case the soap dispensers are empty.
10. While you’re at it, take along a roll of toilet paper in case some a-hole stole all the toilet paper from the public restroom.
Read about our first road trip since COVID-19 started
We did a road trip from San Diego to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and then on to the Black Hills in South Dakota (the area of Mount Rushmore). Read about our experience with hotels, restaurants, gas stations, parks, masks, social distancing, and more!
So, who’s ready to leave?
Are you planning a road trip after COVID-19? Where to? Tell us in the comments or contact us!
Like what you read?
Share it with all your friends and foes!
Like the photos?
See more on Instagram and Facebook!
Any burning questions or thoughts?
Leave us a comment below!