COVID-19 Road Trip Travel Recommendations & Resources

Travel During the Pandemic in 2020

Road trip through Glacier National Park in Montana

We love America, and travel to the many exciting places and destinations that the USA and Canada offer. We also enjoy being out on the open roads of America, like cross-country trips on Route 66, The Mother Road.

But the travel industry has changed dramatically in a short period of time in 2020 due to the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. And your travel plans have probably been impacted.

Now, in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak across America, travelers are seeking safe vacation alternatives. Cruise travel is virtually impossible, and airline travel is difficult. Travel to international destinations is limited. Consequently, many individuals and families are exploring the open roads of America, driving its scenic byways and enjoying national parks and other open spaces.

It’s uncertain when travel restrictions will lift completely. If you’re considering a trip, make sure to check cancellation policies before booking public transportation and accomodations.

The resources included below are a helpful place to start planning your next road trip, or a "staycation" close to home!

And be sure to visit our list of 128 Staycations - by State.

Travel Information via TripAdvisor

As the world continues to navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, TripAdvisor, one of the leading travel resources worldwide, is ready to assist travelers throughout this challenging period.

The link below provides up-to-date travel information on global destinations, ways you can help stop the spread of COVID-19, and tools and resources for staying abreast of this ever-changing situation.

TripAdvisor: What You Need to Know About Travel and COVID-19

Dining along the Gulf of Mexico in Destin, Florida

 

 


Road Trip Travel Tips

Driving is thought by many to be safer than other modes of travel since you yourself have control over destinations and situations you encounter. Here are some thoughts, and tips:

  • Enjoying a safe vacation on the open roads of America
    Before you depart, make sure your auto, SUV, RV or motorcycle is in good shape; consider having it serviced or inspected if you’re concerned.
  • Map out the roads and byways you’ll be driving on and the states you’ll be passing through — and be aware of any relevant regional travel advisories and restrictions.
  • Does the state or local government where you live or at your destination require you to stay home for 14 days after traveling? Some state and local governments may require people who have recently traveled to stay home for 14 days.
  • Be sure to pack enough hand sanitizer for the entire trip. Also consider disinfecting wet wipes, disposable gloves, sealable disposable plastic bags and tissues.
  • To minimize stops at restaurants and grocery stores, bring and store your own food supplies.
  • Plan ahead for restroom stops ... many public restrooms are closed, as are indoor areas of many restaurants.
  • Wear a mask at rest stops, gas stations and indoor bathroom facilities, and touch as few surfaces, door knobs, faucets, etc as possible. You may want to use a disposable tissue or napkin to touch things like handrails, door handles, elevator buttons, etc.
  • Where will you dine? With restaurants being forced to change their facilities and services, many offer only limited seating, drive-thru, take-away or curb-side services.
  • After purchasing food, trash as much of the packaging as possible, and make sure your hands are cleaned/washed/sanitized before eating the food.
  • Use contactless payment methods when possible; if you use a credit card, be sure to clean it after use.
  • Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park
    Where will you sleep? When booking a hotel, visit its website to understand their cleaning policies, standards and procedures. Don't eat at any common-space food areas such as breakfast buffets. Assume devices and surfaces in your room are NOT clean, and wipe them down yourself.

    Guidelines from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) include stringent cleaning procedures for everything from elevator buttons to exercise equipment. More hotels are implementing contactless check-in and check-out, and keyless entry, and rearranging lobby seating to keep guests socially distant.
  • Skip indoor spaces where social distancing is not practical, such as bars.
  • If you are visiting a national park, plan ahead ... some parks, like Rocky Mountain NP, require advance reservations and have limits on the number of visitors allowed in the park. Others, like Glacier NP in Montana, do not have all facilities open; there, the Going to the Sun Road is not open all the way across the park.

Other Coronavirus Travel Resources

CDC: Considerations for Travel in the U.S.
CDC: Travel Recommendations

CDC: Travel Recommendations by Country
National Park Service: Public Health Update
TSA: Traveling During COVID-19

Mayo Clinic: Coronavirus Travel Advice
Government of Canada: COVID-19 Travel restrictions, exemptions and advice

 

AARP: How to Stay Safe on a Road Trip During Coronavirus Outbreak

 

Travel & Leisure: Everything You Need to Know If You're Traveling During the Coronavirus Outbreak (Video)

Peace and tranquility in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina