Road Travel Precautions For Your Health and Safety
Road travel is the new safer mode of long distance travel. With the COVID19 attack on the world and the notions of existing travel safety as we know destroyed, one of the emerging trends we may see growing is the idea of ‘road trips.’ More and more people prefer to take their car and travel in closed confines with people they know, instead of boarding a flight where they are amid strangers who may be carrying viruses, bacteria, diseases… or even taking a train for that matter, where long time durations mean more exposure to infections.
While road trips are a safe option and should be preferred to other modes of transport in this time of coronavirus, one must make sure that he/she is controlling all variables of the trip; viz a viz food, water, surface disinfection, sanitisation, stops, overnighters et al. To help you plan all of this, here’s our list of road travel precautions that you must take for your own health and safety.
Clean the Exteriors
Your car will need a full body wash, but apart from that, you will also need to clean some oft-touched surfaces with a disinfectant liquid. These include the windows and window frame (used to open doors often), dickey handle/button, the base of dickey (used to close it), door handles etc. Check with an auto-repair garage or your dealer to ensure that the disinfectant you are using is safe for the car paint.
Disinfect the Interiors
Before embarking on a long car journey, take your time cleaning and disinfecting the interiors of your car. You will be sitting in this space for long hours, touching so many surfaces, inhaling the air trapped in; so it is imperative you ensure that it is clean, germ free and safe. Use your disinfectant spray or liquid and a clean microfibre cloth to clean places that include door handles, door pulls, power button/ignition, steering wheel, seat belts, gear stick, other levers and consoles, touch screen, AC and radio controls, cupholders, glove box (inside and out) and headrest.
Get your Car Serviced Beforehand
That’s the basic tip before a road trip. It becomes more important in the times of COVID19, as you wouldn’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere, not knowing the hygiene of the area, with a broken car. Get your car serviced and mention about your road trip plans to the concerned person, so that they can fine tune the mechanics to suit your journey, place, climate and roads. Make sure you get the tires, fluids, batteries and AC checked. And also, learn the basics like changing a spare, refilling oil and coolants etc for any on-the-road emergency.
Book Hotels in Advance
If you are on a long overnight road journey that requires stops, then make sure you research and book hotels in advance. Like the good ol’ days, stopping at any motel on the highway is not the best idea. With sanitisation and hygiene measures being the most significant in any kind of stay-over, it is best you pre-book a good reputed hotel instead of spending the night at just any place you find on the way.
Pack an Emergency and Hygiene Kit
Your car must at all times have two things for a road journey — an emergency kit and a hygiene/sanitary kit. The emergency kit should have items like water, flashlight, warm blankets, a fully charged spare phone, first aid kit, flares, jumper cables and tools to change a tire. The hygiene kit is the newest necessary in a car now. After the coronavirus pandemic explosion, you cannot go anywhere long distance without numerous packs of disposable gloves, face masks, sanitiser bottles, disinfectants, basic cold and allergy medicine, paracetamol and protective eye glasses.
Take Food, Coffee and Water Along
Gone are those days when you planned stops for your favourite coffee or at that famous snack in the next city when on a road trip. For hygiene and social distancing reasons, it is best to limit or even completely avoid stops now. That is the reason we suggest you pack your meals, coffee, tea, cold beverages and water all at once. Either from home or from a place near you that is hygienic. Sanitise your hands efficiently before eating, do not throw half eaten food or wrappers out (not just to avoid litter but to avoid the spread of any infection or viruses too) and dispose all waste in a tied paper or plastic bag directly into a bin.
Get Travel Insurance
A must nowadays, wherever you go, however you go; Travel Insurance is like a solid cover over your travel plans. When road tripping, it is all the more important, because you are going to drive through unknown areas where mishaps, broken cars, emergency overnighters etc can dent your budget. If these are covered in your insurance then you are golden. Also, new insurance policies for travellers will cover viruses and other infections like corona, so that is another bonus.