It’s August, and many Americans are snagging end-of-summer time off, long weekends, and day trips before stepping into their fall schedule. Due to the pandemic, summer started kinda weird and slow and a majority of us experienced changes in our normal summer vacations and routines. Here at the end of the season, we’re eager to squeeze in some last minute trips and traditions. While you’ll see signs in most places these days reminding you of physical distancing guidelines to protect your health, we wanted to take a minute to remind you of summer travel safety tips.
Before you leave
- Get your car serviced! Let your mechanic know that you’re going on a road trip and ask for a thorough maintenance check. Having unexpected car trouble is a really quick way to ruin a getaway.
- Plan your route. With GPS, it’s easy to forget about this one and just trust your map app to do everything for you. A little scouting out of your options, though, and researching the safest roads can provide you with some scenic variety and safer routes.
- Check CDC recommendations for route and destination. The CDC keeps updated lists and recommendations for COVID-10 precautions. Make sure to check the CDC website to familiarize yourself with the local laws and COVID-19 regulations in the areas you’ll be passing through.
- Take water and snacks. This feels like a no-brainer. After all, what fun is a road trip without snacks? But since many of us plan to pick up drinks or snacks along the way at pit stops, it’s easy to neglect having some basics on hand when we leave the house. In the summer, though, it’s particularly important to keep extra water on hand. Don’t leave home without it! And while you’re at it, pack some hand sanitizer too.
- Communicate ahead of time. This is especially important if you’re traveling alone. Make sure friends or family are aware of your travel plans.
While you’re on the road
- Don’t drive distracted. This includes avoiding all risky behaviors: texting, driving impaired by drugs or alcohol, reckless driving, speeding, etc.
- Stop as often as you need to. Take a break and switch drivers if you feel tired. When you stop for food or gas, take a minute to walk around, stretch, answer text messages, return phone calls, and re-energize.
- Keep your gas tank full. Don’t wait till your empty light comes on to stop for gas. Keep your tank closer to full than to empty.
- Remember those CDC recommendations! Keep your mask handy and use it at every stop along the way. Although it’s safer to bring your own food to eat during your trip, if you need to stop for food, look for places that provide outdoor seating options. Use your common sense, your mask, your hand sanitizer, and your physical distancing skills liberally.
After you arrive
- Let friends and family know you made it safely.
- Start enjoying your destination.
Happy end of summer to you! Stay safe and have fun.