5 Tips for Safe Travel During COVID-19

Traveling to the beach may seem out of reach, but these trips can be done with a little planning.

I feel like I spend an inordinate amount of time talking about the coronavirus.  We all do.  However, most of us are more than a little stir crazy.  But, how can we get out of the house to travel without putting our family at risk?  Can we?  I feel like we have managed fairly well during these past few months.  No travel is without risk.  This is true even without a global pandemic.  So, what have we done differently that makes us feel okay with our choices?
The one meal we have enjoyed eating out at the beach has always been breakfast.  We were able to grab breakfast to go since shops have very little traffic early in the morning!

5 Tips for Safe Travel During COVID - 19

First, I am not a medical professional.  I am following CDC guidelines and making practical choices both at home and on the road for our health.  And, what every person and family does is going to look a little differently based on geographic location, overall health, and many other underlying factors.  I've also trying to avoid judgment and stay in my lane.  My decisions are my own just as yours are too.  Traveling may be too risky for you.  That is okay.  

I feel like we have limited our exposure while still getting out this spring and summer.  For us, those two things can exist simultaneously.  It does require some strategic planning.  And what we do might not be what is right for you.  We have done 5 key things that have allowed us to travel safely this spring and summer.

Some people view masks as a political statement, but it really is a way to protect yourself and others.

Mask Up

Just to be clear, this is not a political statement or agenda.  At a minimum, it is the right thing to do for others that might be compromised or more fragile than you.  Anytime we have to go into a store or public setting, we wear a mask.  Keep them in your car and on your person at all times.  We wash them often and keep them clean.  I try to pack a mask for each day we are on the road so that we have a clean one each day.  

Since I travel for work, I have a little more exposure than others.  For me, wearing a mask protects others as much as it does me.  I am trying not to contract COVID, but I am also cautious and aware that I could be exposed and exposing others.  I just feel better wearing a mask plain and simple.  Our whole family has done this for months.  Because of my job, I'm certainly out of the house and exposed more than anyone else, but any time we are out we all mask up!

I keep plenty of soap and hand sanitizer handy for us to use on the road.  I keep hand sanitizer for when we are out and about and soap for everything else.

Practice Good Hygiene

Keep hand sanitizer on you for use when soap and water are not available.  Wash your hands often with soap and water.  Avoid touching your face and others.  These things will always serve you well.  There are even times when I use gloves to protect my hands and myself.  I don't consider this extreme.  It's just being safe while on the road.

I like to use gloves when pumping gas.  Maybe it isn't necessary, but it makes me feel better.  And there isn't any harm in that.  If you feel better doing it, and it keeps you safe - do it!  Consistent hygiene efforts help with my anxiety when we are on the road.  Some of the things we do can be as much about that as anything.  

Riding bikes, hiking, walking, and lots of other outdoor activities can be done without being in a crowd.  These are all favorites of ours.

Avoid Crowds

I personally don't love crowds, so this isn't the worst thing to happen to me.  I'm also a people person, so this is hard for me in other ways.  What I mainly avoid is being in a confined space with a lot of people.  Carefully select where you go and try to stick to your personal group as much as possible.  I personally prefer places that limit the number of people that can come inside.  The fish market near our condo at the beach this summer only allowed 6 persons inside at a time with a mask.  This felt much safer than a crowded store with unlimited numbers of shoppers. 

If you are a person that loves nature and the outdoors, there is no time like the present to hike, bike, swim, and do all kinds of things outdoors without crowds.  Have a family picnic.  This is also a great time to camp!  

While at the beach this summer, we found that early mornings were great times to get out and ride our bikes.  We could zip in for some breakfast take out and avoid groups because the masses were sleeping in.  Timing can be everything when traveling.  Pick times to get out that are less popular to move around a little more freely.

I planned lots of yummy meals for a beach trip that even included homemade pizza.  Everyone was happy, and no one missed going to a restaurant to eat out.

Be Self Sufficient

When traveling with our RV, we have used our RV bathroom to avoid public restrooms at gas stations.  We also take our food with us when we travel.  I do curbside pick up for groceries and pack what we need.  We have our RV fridge and a large 55-quart Orca cooler that works as a second fridge for keeping items cold if needed.  

If we do dine out, it is pick up only or delivery.  But, I prefer to cook our meals and not rely on that additional exposure.  

Our beach chairs and umbrella kept us from renting gear at the beach also limiting our exposure to others.

Take Your Own Gear

We have our own bikes and beach set up.  By not renting shared gear, you are in control of what you are exposed to.  We even have a small portable table that we can use in our RV for meals at the campground.  I have avoided as much public or communal use of a property as possible.  We have our own bikes too.  Sure, all that gear may mean that you are packing more stuff.  But, you will have what you need and enjoy your adventures so much more by having what you need to explore more!

None of this will ensure that you won't get sick.  Travel right now is a risk.  However, having a plan and being prepared provides a layer of protection that can allow you to travel carefully.  Don't expect things to be the same as they were before this.  They won't be.  They can't be.  It is a new normal that still feels confining even when traveling.  But, I also enjoy traveling and prefer it to being stuck at home when we don't have to be.

We have several trips planned throughout the fall.  They will be taken cautiously knowing we are taking calculated risks but in the safest manner possible.  Until next time...