If you’re one of the millions of Americans planning to hit the open road this year for vacation, you’ll want to make health and safety a top priority. Traveling with loved ones can give you a much-needed break as you discover new regions together. Our best advice? Plan ahead and take special precautions to help keep everyone healthy and safe. Here are our 9 top tips for taking a safer road trip in 2020.
- Check the status of your destination before you set out. The CDC has a map that shows hot spots and provides data.
- Pack a rest stop kit for each traveler. Include small bars of soap, paper towels (for drying and avoiding high-touch handles), hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes. Kits will come in handy for restroom breaks, at gas stations and at takeout restaurants. You’ll also want to pack masks and disposable gloves for all travelers.
- Think differently. You might want to avoid crowded spots and gatherings in favor of a visit to a state or national park. Or, rent an RV and take your family camping. Think rural instead of urban. Rent a houseboat, cabin, tiny house or a treehouse. Or visit relatives you haven’t seen in a while. Wherever you go, it’s important to maintain social distancing.
- Check whether the state you’re heading to requires self-quarantine. States can require out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine for as long as 14 days. To find out, call the state health authority from a list provided by the CDC.
- Pack a cooler with healthy, high-protein snacks and drinks. This may help you reduce stops along the way and reduce your exposure to strangers and surfaces. You also might want to call ahead to make sure any rest stops and restaurants you’re planning on are open.
- Remember ‘WWD:’ Wear a mask in public. Wash your hands in hot, soapy water. Disinfect common surfaces.
- Thoroughly clean the inside of your car or RV before you go. While we often think about the mechanical fitness of our cars in advance of a trip, we often overlook the inside environment to ensure travelers are riding in a safe and healthy space. The steering wheel, door handles, seats, safety belts and even your key fob can be harbingers of all kinds of germs and grime. The CDC offers suggestions on how to sanitize your home, many of which are applicable to your car.
- Staying in a hotel or rental? Find out what specific safety measures are in place, including the thoroughness of cleanings between guests. Some hotels are limiting services such as daily maid service and turndowns; others are removing items such as coffee makers and glassware. Make sure you understand the cancellation rules. Ideally your hotel or rental offers an iron-clad refund should you need to cancel or cut your vacation short for any reason.
- One word of caution. Health and safety experts are advising anyone over the age of 65 or those with a compromised immune system or chronic health condition to stay home this summer unless traveling is absolutely necessary. While not ideal, staying at home is still the safest bet for those who are at greatest risk until a vaccine and life-saving treatments are developed.
We hope your road trips offer a welcome respite and are enjoyable and safe.
Did you know that switching your auto/home insurance to Liberty Mutual could provide you with savings to use for your road trip vacation? In fact, AICPA members could save up to $842* when switching their auto/home insurance to Liberty Mutual. Learn more/get a quote or call 877-922-4272 now to get started.
*Savings validated by countrywide survey of participating new customers from 3/1/18 to 3/1/19 who switched to Liberty Mutual and saved. Savings may vary. Comparison does not apply in MA.
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