It’s crazy to think that in the span of just a few months, COVID-19 has transformed the way we live and act in the world. It may seem like many of our plans are put on hold, and any ideas of travels and fun-filled adventures are halted. What if you were told that there were really new ways to enjoy yourself amidst this pandemic? What if the ability to explore is not so far off? Why not take your family quarantine to the road? As some tourist destinations are safely welcoming visitors, road trips, done solo or with your family can be a lot of fun, especially when planned well. Fear not! Amintro has put together a comprehensive list of tips to ensure you have a safe trip while hitting the road.

1 – Get Packing!

While going somewhere- anywhere – as soon as possible may seem like an inviting excuse to pack up quickly and go, remember that this time it’s different. You need to consider that apart from packing your essentials including snacks, bottled water and medications, you’ll need extra supplies. This includes hand sanitizers, gloves, Ziploc plastic bags, and disinfecting wet wipes.

Aside from the standard procedure for practicing good hygiene, which includes washing hands thoroughly before eating and after using the washroom, take extra measures. Using roadside stops such as gas stations and public restrooms should be done with care, for example using gloves to pump gas and discarding them outside your car or safely sealing them in the Ziploc bags to throw away later if there are no trash cans available. Remember, be considerate towards the public as well! Use paper towels to guard your hand when touching door handles and faucets in public washrooms, after washing your hands. Simply using your hands to touch any surface defeats the purpose of washing them in the first place.

An extra tip: Make sure to carry cards to pay for gas as well as other necessities on the road. This means you won’t have to have any unnecessary and risky face-to-face interactions, and allows you to clean your cards with a disinfecting wipe.

2 – Do your research!

There’s no such thing as being over-prepared, and when it comes to our current situation, preparation is a necessity. Thorough research makes all the difference in making sure you don’t run into any unwelcome surprises on the road! You can expect temporary closures, so it’s a wise idea to double check and then map out your route before stepping out the door. Make sure to stay up-to-date on any relevant travel advisories, for example, adjustments on operating hours of rest-area food service locations. As in any road trip preparation, checking the weather forecast is not to be missed from your to-do list.

3 – Smart-Dining

Keep in mind that there will be changes in dining options and settings. While rules are being relaxed, indicating the reopening of some restaurants, you can expect others to be shut down. Again, research and take note that each place may limit numbers of guests allowed at a time. Anticipate some waiting time, and be sure to plan ahead in terms of meal stops. Otherwise, drive-through and takeout are good, and sometimes more practical options.

4 – Sleep tight

If you absolutely need a place to stay overnight, be sure to call ahead and make those reservations, as some places have closed down. You’ll find that many of the bigger hotel chains such as Hitlon, Hyatt and Best Western are still open and operating. What’s better is that hotels are also considering best approaches for sanitizing and social distancing to keep safety standards in check in light of this outbreak.

You’ll be glad to know that Airbnb, Hilton and Hyatt have made statements to highlight their ramped-up cleaning and safety standards for the coming weeks and months. Hospital-grade disinfectants and contactless check-ins are the norm there now. Although there are stricter cleaning procedures now for everything from elevator buttons to exercise equipment, you should still be extra careful and wipe everything down with your own sanitizing supplies- just to be sure. Wipe down everything including interior and exterior door handles, bathroom switches and fixtures, TV remotes, tabletops and sink areas. Also, this is not the time to be calling housekeeping, as it’s best to limit the number of people coming in and out of your room.