How to Road Trip Safely During COVID-19

Plan your route

Even if you’ve done this trip multiple times, no more than ever, planning ahead is extremely important because you may run into some temporary closures.

Map out the roadways you’ll be taking and the states you’ll be passing through — and be aware of any relevant travel advisories.

The Federal Highway Administration maintains a directory of state transportation department websites, which should have the latest information about state-specific coronavirus-related changes, along with links to other state resources such as traffic and weather advisories.

Packing and sanitizing

Geriatrician June McKoy, associate professor of medicine at Northwestern Medicine, recommends packing hand sanitizer, disinfecting wet wipes, disposable gloves, sealable disposable plastic bags and tissues.

Good hygiene on the road is much like that at home (for instance, washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating and after using the restroom) but requires extra vigilance when it comes to high-traffic roadside stops such as gas stations and public bathrooms.. She suggests that drivers wear disposable gloves while pumping gas, rather than worrying about wiping down the nozzle itself (after you’re done, discard the gloves outside your car or seal them in a plastic bag for disposal later if a trash can isn’t available).

In public restrooms, try not to touch the faucet or door handles after washing, instead use a piece of tissue or paper towel to shield your hand after washing.


Restaurants in some states, including Georgia, Texas and Utah, are resuming dine-in service — but there may still be limits on the number of guests allowed inside and extra space between tables. In states where a sit-down meal still isn’t allowed, drive-through and takeout service are typically available instead, as are drive-through options at major chains such as McDonald’s and Starbucks.Woman washing her soapy hands in a bathroom



Hotels are also adjusting their approach to sanitization and social distancing in light of the outbreak: Hilton, Hyatt and Airbnb have announced ramped-up cleaning and safety standards to begin in the weeks and months to come, like the use of hospital-grade disinfectants and contactless guest check-in procedures.

Still, echoing advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, McKoy recommends using your own sanitizing supplies on “high-touch” surfaces in your room. This includes exterior and interior doorknobs and handles; the TV remote and bathroom fixtures, and tabletops.


For more ideas, read our recent article “CA Department of Health Announces to Reopen In-store Shopping”

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