“On the Road Again”: Road Trip Safety During the Time of Coronavirus

Jalesa Campbell
Updated May 12, 2021
2 min read

With the weather warming up and swimming pool sales on the rise, people are ready for a change of scenery. COVID-19 has brought on a lot of changes for our normal ways of life to include shopping, exercising, birthdays, graduations, and even vacations.

Days of packed resorts and amusement parks might be a thing of the past until we see a more consistent decrease in COVID-19 cases. Instead of packing out theme parks and resorts, Americans are gearing up and hitting the road.

According to Business Insider, “the summer of 2020. . .[is expected to be] the summer of the road trip.” Car And Driver reports that “more people in the Chicago area are anticipating taking road trips post-COVID-19 pandemic.”

RV sales are already on the rise as “dealers are seeing an influx of new customers who want to buy or rent” (Business Insider). It makes sense as travelers will have more control over their living and sanitation standards while on vacation. Motels are also making a comeback as guests can more easily avoid elevators and lobbies where people filter in and out (Business Insider).

With Americans making these shifts in order to enjoy some down-time during the warmer weather, we’ve put together some road trip safety tips and things you can expect while traveling during COVID-19.

Things to Expect While Traveling and Vacationing During COVID-19

  • Contactless Payment

    Paying by card or tap instead of cash has become more prominent during COVID-19 to help prevent the virus’ spread. One new procedure you can expect to see with some states are cashless tolls — meaning you’ll need to pay by card or expect a bill in the mail.

  • Take Out vs. Eating In

    Depending on where you go, not all restaurants are allowing visitors to dine in. You should anticipate ordering out unless you otherwise plan ahead to stop at places where you may be able to dine in.

  • Less Hotel Decor

    Many of us know that hotels don’t clean decorative elements like the pillows or comforters very often. You may now see that some hotels are limiting decorative elements to decrease guests chances of becoming ill.

  • Social Distancing Measures

    You can expect to see social distancing markers and guides while traveling to include places like hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and other public venues.

  • Masks Are Required

    Depending on where you visit, you may be required to wear a mask for your safety and others’ safety. If possible, pack additional masks to carry with you.

  • Limited Capacity

    Many restaurants and stores are now operating at limited capacity. Disney World is even expected to limit the number of park guests for their protection.

5 Road Trip Safety Tips to Follow During the Coronavirus Pandemic

1. Pre-Plan Your Route

Once you have your destination in mind (if you’re still looking, AAA has some ideas), go ahead and determine the routes and rest stops you’ll plan to take. This will help you avoid any surprises (such as cashless tolls) and also find places with open restrooms.

2. Pack a Safety Kit

We’d also recommend packing your very own safety kit that includes hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, additional face masks, gloves, paper towels, and small storage bags. While stopping for gas, you can easily slip on a pair of disposable gloves at the pump to avoid high-touch surfaces.

3. For Hotel/Motel Stays, Disinfect

If you plan to stay at a hotel or motel, be sure to disinfect hard surfaces like door knobs and handles, dressers, countertops, night stands, toilets, and bathtubs. You can easily wipe or spray these areas down.

4. Pick Uncrowded Places

While it may be tempting to visit a popular beach, it would be better to choose uncrowded places during your road trip. Consider parks, bike trails, baseball batting ranges, and other areas where there’s less likely to be a crowd. You can also bring your own fun with indoor and outdoor games.

5. Be Prepared for the Unexpected

As always, it’s best to be prepared for the unexpected, like car trouble or illness. Be sure to change your oil, check your tires, coolant, and other vitals before leaving home. It’s also a good idea to stock up on food, first aid supplies, and medication before leaving as well.


There are alternative ways you can get out and enjoy yourself during COVID-19. As always, remember to practice precaution and use your best judgement to protect yourself and others.

Safety and Security Reporter

Jalesa Campbell

Jalesa is one of Safety.com's staff experts on home security, natural disasters, public safety, and family safety. She's been featured on Today.com and elsewhere.

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