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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Stagg

Thinking of a Road Trip This Summer? Read This

Yellow VW bus driving through desert.
Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

For many people this year, the plans they had made have been dashed and any thought of traveling by air to a foreign destination has become a pipe dream. But, while air travel has become precarious and dangerous, that doesn't mean that all travel is out of bounds. Instead, many people are setting their sights on a good old fashioned road trip.

Christopher Elliott, a travel writer for Forbes, is one such person, and he kindly decided to document his travels for the rest of us. The purpose of his article is not to broadcast his vacation itinerary, but to provide some practical answers for others who are unsure how to travel at all during COVID. He asks:

"... how are other travelers treating the risk of a coronavirus infection? What about hotels and restaurants? And, of course, the million-dollar question: Is it safe to take a road trip right now? A drive through the American West will answer those questions."

What he found was both good and bad and varied depending on where in the US he was. In some places, service stations off the highway had closed bathrooms while others had restricted their use. In rural areas he was often confronted by many people without masks. In hotels, he noticed that things looks particularly clean, and while he notes that it's hard to know for sure how clean they actually were, the bigger chains have been introducing policies that include more rigorous cleaning schedules. Some restaurants were closed, making road trips more difficult, but the ones that were open had plexiglass dividers, hand sanitizer, and demarcated social distancing guidelines on the floors.

The final consensus? Nothing is entirely safe, and you can't count on every location you visit to be taking the correct precautions. What you can control is the precautions that you take, and those can make a big difference in your level of safety. However, the best precaution is always staying home and social distancing.

For more, read the original article by Christopher Elliott on Forbes.


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