Flights are grounded for more than a while now. So are trains and nearly every other gateway to travel, leaving us at the disposal of our good old car and the makeshift playlist that needs some serious updating. That’s to say, yes you can hop on your car and hit the road but can you not care and go where the wind takes you? Probably not yet. Here’s what to know if you’re planning a road trip to cure your wanderlust during COVID-19— read how to stay safe, checklists to rethink & precautions to take.
What is the easiest choice if I want to keep it simple and non-fussy?
The easiest choice? Closer to your home. Try it, it’s more interesting than you think. Everyone fantasizes crossing big European and Caribbean trips off their list before settling down (rightfully so!) that they overlook that beautiful hill station 4-hrs away or their home town that’s unrecognizable now after years of makeovers. Add a fresh twist to spice up your routine by going for a long drive signing up for a nature-based staycation in a nearby hill station, and give your mind the benefit of fresh air. You will feel a lot better.
Remember, Travel is about the difference, not the distance.
Speaking of “get, set, go”, what necessary documents should I carry with me?
Glad you asked it. No one loves getting pulled over and 2020 is probably not the best time to act on your Friday night hangover plans. Even in a short drive as a 3-hour one, you are likely to cross border checkpoints or toll booths. Keep your personal ID proof and your vehicle’s RC copy as you will be checked for these details. Carry an ePass should your destination government asks one — this is a slightly tricky part which needs probing as the rules apply differently to different regions.
Packing: How much is too much?
I talked about this in my recent article about pre-departure travel checklist during COVID-19 — and why it’s necessary to pack light now more so than ever. Pack light so that you don’t expose your household items to open regions which will take repetitive sanitization until you’re satisfied to keep it or throw it out the window. The OCD is real, people. Give yourself the benefit of minimalist packing, that red shoes you think goes well with your fancy trekking jacket can sit this one out.
But don’t be so stringent about the snacks! Fill the car trunk with as much snacks and water you think you would need until you reach your destination stay. And more, if you’re just going for a long drive and not staying outside. Don’t expect your beloved wayside eateries operating in all their glory. Some highway or drive-through restaurants might be open, but it’s better not to place your bets on them.
Read more: Best Road Trips To Enjoy In India
Finally, How do I travel in a way that I don’t put anyone at risk (even unknowingly)?
I want to travel. But I don’t want to be that person who puts anyone at risk — the most common concern hanging over people who want to ease their lockdown-induced anxiety by stepping out responsibly but not sure how. Easy —
- Don’t step out if you’re feeling clear symptoms of any illness, not necessarily coronavirus. Check a doctor instead, get well soon, travel isn’t going anywhere:) If there are pregnant women or very elderly people at home, it is better to postpone your trip until a while.
- Plan your stay only in authorized hospitality providers who have clearly called out the upgraded safety measures on their websites. Take a look at Pickyourtrail’s amazing staycation deals for you that offer hassle-free hospitality experience centred at with futuristic safety measures. Want to experience the best? Pick the best.
- Unless it’s really necessary, do not pull over in a common area where there’s an increased chance of social contact. Instead of using the gas station restroom, see if you can pull over by a high-end restaurant or a branded coffee shop that are likely to follow strict hygiene protocols.
Finally, you know how to protect yourself and others, this is not the first time you’re travelling and travel isn’t really going anywhere — choose what the situation says and fix your travel cravings accordingly.
Feel like treating yourself to a short escape all while staying in your comfort zone? Book your staycation now to kickstart your first post-COVID trip, or leave a Whatsapp inquiry to explore more options.