It’s summer. All you want to do is get out. Especially after being homebound for months! But, we are living through a global pandemic. That means that there is always a little planning required before going anywhere. Whether we head out to a store or get an ice cream with the family, we always have to make sure we have the essentials to keep ourselves safe. With the 4th of July coming up this weekend, many are planning to travel with their family. If you are planning a road trip during this pandemic summer, read on for some essentials to keep in mind.
Road Trip Essential #1: Go Bag
According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN, we should always keep a go bag in our car loaded with the essentials we need to keep our family safe. This go bag should be kept accessible in your car, should you need it during pit stops along the way.
Make sure your go bag includes the following:
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfecting wipes
Road Trip Essential #2: Food
To limit your exposure as much as possible, plan on making fewer stops along the way. This includes stopping for food or drinks at rest areas. Dr. Gupta advises to pack your own snacks and drinks for your road trip.
Here are some things that you may need:
- A cooler with some ice to keep your drinks cold during your trip
- Travel thermos for any hot beverages
- Sandwiches and finger foods to cover meals
- Healthy snacks pre-portioned in individual ziploc bags to prevent or lessen touching of foods
Road Trip Essential #3: Medical Needs
It is recommended by the CDC to anticipate the need for medicines you may require and pack for your entire trip. Whether it be prescriptions or on an as-needed basis, make sure you think ahead and pack accordingly.
Some medications you may need include:
- Pain relief/fever reducer (adult and children)
- Allergy medication (adult and children)
- Antacids or indigestion medication
It is also a good idea to keep a first aid kit with you. An essential first aid kit for your road trip should include:
- Antiseptic (wipes, creams, sprays, or liquids)
- Adhesive (various sizes)
- Instant cold packs
- Bite or sting ointment
- Medical tape
Road Trip Essential #4: Plan
Gone are the days we can decide on a whim to visit our sister and her family two states over. Cases are on the rise in some states that were previously reporting decline. Restrictions and information about COVID-19 is constantly changing. Plan your trips in advance and know the travel restrictions in place for the city or state you plan on visiting and the state(s) you may be traveling through. For example, the state of Maine is requiring a quarantine period for those who are coming into the state from other parts of the country. Planning your trip ahead of time can help you stay informed with the latest information.
Some websites with up-to-date information are:
- CDC – State and Territorial Health Departments
- Midwest: Coronavirus-Related Restrictions by State
- Coronavirus in the US: State-by-State Guide to Travel
Also, keep in mind your family’s particular needs. For example, if your child has been recently potty trained, he/she may benefit from traveling during night hours or nap time to limit bathroom breaks. Or, you may find that leaving in the early morning will prevent the need to pack for meals or worry about large crowds at rest areas. Thinking ahead of time is essential to helping you travel with peace of mind.
These road trip essentials to keep in mind during this pandemic summer will help you limit your exposure to people and their exposure to you. Staying informed and preparing in advance will help keep you and your family safe when traveling this holiday weekend. One thing is for sure, no matter how you spend your summer this year (traveling or not), it will be a memorable one. Pack the mask and snacks, but don’t forget to savor the sun.