CRA Travel News – USA
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Whether you had to cancel that European river cruise or you’ve just been daydreaming of getting as far away from your apartment as possible, travel is on our minds. And while you may be holding off on flights for now, hitting the open road seems like a viable option to feed your wanderlust. But navigating a road trip during Covid—like, uh, how do you safely use a gas station bathroom?—can feel overwhelming and scary. We explain how to do it safely and even give you some options for next adventure. Buckle up.
12 Rules For Road-Tripping Safely During Covid
1. Do not travel if you or a person you’re traveling with is sick
There’s a pandemic. Let’s do our best to minimize the spread of Covid and other viruses or diseases. Even if it’s “just a cold,” you could wind up infecting a vulnerable person with something that weakens their immune system and makes them even more vulnerable to Covid. So, if you’re feeling sick, put your plans on hold.
2. Consider who you’re traveling with and plan from there
Traveling with your partner? The world, er, the interstate highway, is your oyster. But if you’re also bringing along two kids and a dog, the story changes because there are more out-of-your-control factors. The less you immediately have a handle on—say, a 10-year-old who touches the Dairy Queen counter and then scratches his eyes—the more risk you’re packing. That doesn’t mean a road trip is out of the question, but it probably means you should consider short drives with fewer pit stops.
3. Try to avoid places where Covid is spreading
The more virus going around, the more chances there are to catch it, spread it and possibly bring it back home with you. Bookmark the CDC Data Tracker. You can also Google “[destination] covid cases” for graphs on daily changes and more specific geographic locations (i.e. Orange County vs. Los Angeles County). If you’re seeing a peak of cases in a destination or stop along your way, it’s probably smart to re-route.
4. Check states’ health and tourism department websites for Covid-19 updates
How Colorado is dealing with the pandemic might differ from Maryland. So, it’s essential to know how the states you’re traveling through and staying in are responding to tourism.
For example, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York published a travel advisory “requiring all travelers coming from states with significant rates of transmission of [COVID-19 to quarantine] for a 14-day period from the time of their last contact within such designated state(s).” On top of that, Connecticut and New York require travelers to complete an online health form. Think you can skip it? It could result in thousands of dollars of fines. Some states, like Maine, might even request a recent negative Covid-19 test.
Since things are ever-changing, double check relevant states, make notes and bookmark those web pages. This means you’ll want to check the rules and regulations again on your return trip.
5. Map out Covid testing centers
Whether you need a test to prove you don’t have Covid or you fear you’ve come down with symptoms, access to testing is really important. If you’re traveling to a state like Maine, or even visiting family or friends who require that you get tested before showing up, it could even mean planning your route around a Covid testing clinic.
6. Remember: Those out-of-state plates stick out like a sore thumb
When you enter Nebraska with those New York state plates, you should assume that all eyes are on you and vice versa. That means sticking to speed limits on state highways to avoid pricey tickets and to be extra respectful of the space you’re visiting—wear your mask, stand six feet apart etc.
7. Do not quarantine in the middle of nowhere while traveling
If you’ve decided you need to quarantine for a certain amount of time, you need to have access to food and/or other necessary delivery services. Before you book that Airbnb, double-, triple-check you can get whatever you need straight to your door, no contact required.
8. Book lodging smartly
Experts have said that staying in rentals like Airbnbs or hotels are safe, but to do so with precaution. Ask rental hosts for their cleaning plans. If they can’t provide a list of active measures they’re taking, don’t book there. Do the same with hotels. Many hotels have upped their games in major ways, and since it’s such a big commitment, they typically publish their new protocols to their website. Take Aria MGM resort in Las Vegas, for example. Not only is the hotel offering some eye-catching deals (like this work-from-Vegas score), but they’re crystal clear on their safety plan.
9. Sanitize where you sleep
Even if you’re staying at a five-star hotel with a state-of-the-art Covid policy, do your best to disinfect high-traffic surfaces—doorknobs, shower handles, remote controls—before you settle in. (More on what to pack to do this below.) And just to be super safe, wipe everything down when you leave to protect the cleaners and next guests.
11. Practice Covid safety no matter what
You might be traveling through a town where there are few cases and people don’t seem to be wearing masks. This is not an invitation for you to get comfortable. You have been traveling, you’ve been in contact with people and surfaces. Err on the side of caution, or, the CDC’s guideline which instruct to:
- Wear a mask in public
- Stay at least six feet apart from those who are not in your household
- If you use a rest stop bathroom, wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content
- Try to use disinfectant wipes on gas nozzles and machines before you touch them
- After fueling, wash your hands and/or hand sanitize
12. Make sure the whole car is on the same page
Go through the rules carefully with everyone you’re traveling with. Talk out protocols that make you comfortable. For example, “When we stop at gas stations, we will always wipe down the pump before touching. And if we have to use the bathroom, one person is waiting outside with extra hand sanitizer.” Is every adult in your car onboard? If there’s discord or you find that someone you’re about to travel with wants to throw more caution to the wind, then it’s time to rethink your road trip. If everyone’s in agreement, then get in. We’re going road tripping.
Article Credit To Yahoo LIFE.