by Claire Newell
Dreaming of a road trip later this summer? It’s going to require a lot more preparation than you’re used to. No more hitting the open road on a whim — you need to plan ahead.
Even with restrictions easing in most provinces, there are still some significant challenges travelers will face — from how they eat to where they can stop and rest along the way.
Plot your course.
If it’s a route you’ve covered before, consider which rest stops and gas stations are usually less crowded and plan to stop there. If it’s a new route, remember you want to minimize the number of places you visit and the people you come into contact with. Keep in mind, there might not always be a clean, well-ventilated washroom available; plus some small communities are isolating and visitors may not be welcome. Do your research.
Find safe accommodation.
While many hotels are enacting stricter sanitization strategies, not every business has rolled out its plans for guests. Call ahead — find out what measures the hotels and other lodging options at your destination are taking and book accordingly. As for vacation rentals, results will vary. AirBNB has updated requirements for hosts who take part in its enhanced cleaning initiative, which includes at least 24 hours between rentals. Camping sites and RV parks are a fairly safe option, if you can enforce physical distancing. For an even lower risk option — consider visiting family or doing a house swap with someone you know. Whatever you do — confirm before you leave.
When it’s time to hit the road — stock up. Bring a picnic blanket and pack a cooler with enough food and water to get you from point a to point b — because you may find fewer restaurants open along the way.
Ensure you’ve got enough hand sanitizer and necessary cleaning supplies — not only to keep you clean but to disinfect the surfaces you’ll encounter along the way. And make sure you have enough non-medical masks or face coverings for everyone in the vehicle.
Keep everyone safe
Once you reach your destination — keep hygiene at the top of your mind. If you are at a hotel or vacation rental, as soon as you enter your room give the light switches, door handles, faucets, remote controls, and tabletops a wipe down with a disinfectant wipe or spray. If you’re at a hotel, display the ‘do not disturb’ sign and let housekeeping come in after your stay. If you can, eat in your room and avoid common areas like gyms and restaurants. And wash your hands as often as you can.
Even without the pressures of the pandemic, there can be plenty of hiccups on road trips. You really can’t be too prepared. Make sure you minimize your risks and contact with others — not only to protect yourself — but anyone you encounter along the way.
Preparing for a Summer road trip this year for your family is easy if you do a little planning ahead of time. And don’t be afraid to reach out for help! There are many BC family getaways listed on travelbestbets.com