Road tripping during a pandemic, with the proper precautions, can be a great way to get a change of scenery. Once our Province started to open up, we were able to spend our summer road tripping around beautiful British Columbia. We explored New Denver while staying at Adventure Domes that felt like they were straight out of a fairytale. Camping was also a big part of our adventures at Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park in Pemberton, waterfall chasing in Wells Gray Provincial Park and finishing off the summer with a last hurrah in Golden Ears Provincial Park.
Aside from some small changes that were really not any hassle at all, such as wearing a mask, we really did not notice many differences in our travel experience. We found people around us to be considerate and kept their distance from others. If anything, we actually found that the limitations imposed on travel made it a more peaceful experience. Limitations meant less people around and more time to enjoy the beauty around us. Getting out on a road trip and into nature really has been a great release for us.
The rules may be slightly adjusted right now, but road trips are still possible — as long as you are taking all the precautions to keep yourself and those around you safe.
Here are 8 tips that we feel have kept us safe road tripping during a pandemic:
Table Of Contents
Bring Emergency Essentials
You may find that people are not so willing to come too close to help you out if you need. This is why it is especially important that you have with you the basics: first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, water, non-perishables, emergency blankets, and a spare tire.
Being mostly in the middle of nowhere, we were lucky we had jumper cables. We found out during our road tripping during the pandemic that our van had several recalls when our battery (of a new van) died. The computer was not signalling to charge the battery to factory levels.
Take Your Vehicle In For A Tune-Up
Even though we did take our vehicle in for a road check tune up, it was at an oil change shop, not the car dealership that would have known about recalls. Before we go on a big road trip, we like to:
- Check that the car’s battery connection is tight and corrosion free
- Inspect belts and hoses
- Top up fluids and replace filters (as necessary)
- Verify that lights and signals are working
- Inspect tires
- Check the brakes
This probably sounds like a no-brainer, but it is different driving a road with few cars than during typical busy times. It can be all too easy to get lazy and feel like you can bypass some of the rules. Please don’t. Some drivers may be full of nerves because they are paranoid that an accident will make them have to go to the ER — or a pandemic hot zone. Drive the speed limit and keep extra distance between you and other vehicles, and you’ll be fine.
Basic Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal protective equipment (PPE) are items worn or used to provide a barrier, or to help clean and disinfect areas, to assist in preventing potential exposure to infectious disease. With items clearing off store shelves, it may be hard to find some of these items on the road. The best idea is to bring some along, and it will also give you peace of mind. You’ll especially appreciate having it on hand when you’re in high traffic public areas, such as pumping gas, touching pin pads, or grabbing door handles. We brought masks, disinfectant wipes, and hand santitzer.
Traveling during a pandemic is the one time that even fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of people should be planning ahead. Coronavirus regulations may change availability and capacity. If you plan ahead, you will be able to check on each location for the more detailed temporary coronavirus rules with social distancing, capacity limits and cleaning protocols for rooms and high-contact surfaces, the more peace of mind you will have. Planning ahead allows you to create a trip that you will feel comfortable with.
Even though cleaning protocols are at never before seen heights right now, if you’re in a hotel, you could also do the following:
Forgo housekeeping services: This will limit the amount of people who come in and out of your room.
Check-in & out: Opt for contactless check-in and check-out when possible.
Use your sanitizing supplies on high touch surfaces in your room: the tv remote, tabletops, around the bathroom sink and fixtures, and exterior and interior doorknobs.
Get Into Nature
We found that the easiest way to stay safe while we travelled was to get into nature. Not only was our time in nature completely rejuvenating, but we had so much space to roam without another soul in sight. We were at waterfalls at Wells Gray Provincial Park where we were one of the few, if not the only, people there. It was such an incredible feeling. That sure does not happen in a regular world!
When you’re in nature, always remember to leave no trace. Pack out what you take with you.
You can plan ahead as much as you want, but with changing restrictions all over the place, you may have to make some adjustments. Keep an open mind while you’re out adventuring and you’ll be able to roll with the punches.
Before traveling, please ensure you check the latest CDC guidelines and local restrictions of where you will be traveling.
What else would you suggest for road tripping during a pandemic?