There’s no getting around it. The emergence of Omicron has added some complexities to travel. But rather than giving up your getaway plans, why not set your sights on the open road?
According to Destination Analysts, 61.3 per cent of U.S. travelers surveyed say they’re planning on taking a road trip in 2022. Traveling via road tends to be more cost effective than flying, plus you have greater mobility. Rather than visit one location, you can visit multiple locations.
To kickstart your road trip planning, here are a few things you should consider:
Create an itinerary
While many fancy the freedom of a Jack Kerouac, it’s best to create a plan before hitting the road. Map out what you want to see, taking into account distance, roads traveled, and any local restrictions in effect during COVID, such as curfews. Download your maps in case you hit an area without cell service.
Leave room for flexibility and improvisation in your itinerary. COVID—and travel in general—will throw curveballs your way. Just remember it’s all part of the journey.
And if you’re experiencing anxiety over traveling during COVID, consider picking low-key destinations—somewhere off the tourist trail where you can enjoy the scenery and unwind.
Book accommodation ahead
Revenge travel is real. You’re not the only one itching to hit the road, which means accommodations book up fast. Plan your nightly stays pre departure to alleviate the stress of scrambling for last-minute bookings.
Plus, hotel and motel rules and availability may differ during COVID. Last thing you want is to show up to a hotel late at night that requires 24-hour notice of booking. We also suggest booking accommodations that provide contactless check-in and checkout to keep face-to-face interactions to a minimum.
If camping’s more your speed, look into campsites ahead of time. Some may have COVID restrictions. And make sure to book popular destinations, such as National Parks, well in advance.
Three pairs of sandals may seem important at the time, but if you get stranded, they’re not going to be much help. Leave room for essentials, such as non-perishable food, a water container, and a portable power station.
It’s also never a bad idea to have a tent and camping chairs in case you’re forced to improvise an overnight stay.
Finally, make sure you have your COVID survival kit, including masks, lots of hand sanitizer, and a few rapid tests, if you can get a hold of them.
Before heading out on a long trip, check that your car’s up to it. You don’t want to get an hour from home only to have your engine light blinking. Not only is that an expensive hassle, but it would require coming into contact with service personnel.
On the off-chance you are plagued by car trouble, invest in a AAA membership so you aren’t gouged by towing fees.
And just in case anything else goes wrong during your trip, like a visit to the emergency room, cover yourself with travel insurance!