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Safety concerns in a road trip - what are you doing differently?

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Safety concerns in a road trip - what are you doing differently?

Old Jun 10th, 2020, 07:20 PM
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Safety concerns in a road trip - what are you doing differently?

We're planning to drive from Dallas-Taos-Moab-Denver-Colorado Springs-and some other places before we come back to Dallas.
We're staying in Hotels or Airbnb. Planning to visit National Parks. Not doing Museums, Malls or any indoor crowded places. We're either cooking or doing takeouts.
I know all places I mentioned are exercising abundant caution and we are taking precautions as well. And yet we know we will be exposed to strangers, just as they will come in contact with us - some way or the other. So as we plan, we're going through "should we, should we not" moments.
If you are travelling at a time like this, what made you decide? What gave you the trust, the confidence and the optimism to travel? What are you doing differently?
At the end I will have to decide, but meanwhile I would love to hear from you.
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Old Jun 10th, 2020, 09:12 PM
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We're staying at home for the summer. We have a 5-day driving trip to one destination booked for just after Labor Day, but Covid stats at that time could put the kabosh on the plan. We'll see, but, if I had to ask myself a lot of questions and talk myself into it, I wouldn't go. If it matters, my husband and I have the Covid antibodies but others we would be with do not (as far as everyone knows).
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 05:00 AM
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I'll be interested to hear the responses. We are planning a road trip in our RV (well, re-planning, since we were supposed to have taken off at the end of April). I do think having our own RV in which to sleep and eat is every-so-slightly safer than staying in hotels and AirBnBs, but we'll still encounter people! We'll take the same precautions we take on a daily basis (masks, sanitization) but we do go to stores, where at least we can move away from anyone who gets too close. We won't sit indoors at a restaurant (nor outdoors unless we can be assured of social distancing), we're not going to movies or theater, and we have no interest in museums, etc. in the summer. So hopefully, it won't be any worse than staying at home.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 05:40 AM
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We have taken a few road trip overnights in the last month, opting to stay in airbnbs. On my to-do list is to find a beach holiday for a week sometime this summer, and again we'll choose airbnbs over hotels. Each of the three airbnbs we have stayed had antiseptic aromas when we walked in (for better or for worse); the linens were extra-bleached, too. In grocery stores we donned masks to pick up provisions; at the lone eat-in restaurant we have dined in (other meals were take-away or prepared at the airbnb) proper social distancing measures were being followed. The mask-wearing has been a little hit-or-miss in smaller shops, but usually I was just one of two customers so it wasn't a concern to me.

Our son relocated to San Francisco for work last month and I am chomping at the bit to visit him as soon as CA gives the green light. Good friends are posting to Ghana in August, and the travel itch to visit them in October is strong. We shall see.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 05:56 AM
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We are renting a cabin in the mountains near us this summer instead of going to Iceland. We will not be going to restaurants etc. The only thing we will do is go hiking, and even that will be either very early in the morning or late in the afternoon/evening to avoid any crowds. We will also do some backpacking, but those are more spur of the moment trips. I would not want to be in a campground at all this summer, and don't care for those most of the time anyways. Backcountry is what speaks to us, and even more so this year.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 06:13 AM
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We're taking a road trip next week, where we'll spend four nights in the southwest of our state. We've booked an Air BNB, and have verified what will and will not be open in the areas we'll be visiting. We plan to spend our days hiking and visiting a national park. Our meals will be eaten at restaurants, dine in or take out, depending on what is available. We're prepared to self-cater if necessary. We plan to take the usual precautions, wearing masks where needed, washing hands often and having our trusty container of wipes.

Our only concern regarding the trip is the inability to obtain an annual national parks pass as the parks offices are closed and there's no indication of when they may reopen. We can get one via mail, but it will take four weeks and cost an additional $10 for shipping.

Our plan is to take two or other three similar road trips within our state (CO) this summer, to compensate for the three international trips we've had to cancel since COVID hit the fan.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 06:30 AM
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How many days do you plan to be gone from Dallas? Do you have a set date that you must be back to Dallas? Try for at least 1 night in Glenwood Springs (maybe Aspen) between Moab and Denver.
Air B&B hosts should be very good about disinfecting between guests this summer. Pack at least 2 hand washable masks for each person and carry 2 or 3 8 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer in the glove compartment. There have been cases of hand sanitizer causing fires when left out in the sun. Be careful. Try for digital payment from your phone at the drive through instead of using cash.
Plan on a big cooler in your vehicle with drinks you like and stuff for a tailgate picnic if needed.
If you pump your own gas, wear a disposable vinyl glove. You have no idea who used the nozzle or pushed buttons on the pump last. dispose of the vinyl glove in the trash can at the pumps and use a new one at the next fill up.

Last edited by tomfuller; Jun 11th, 2020 at 06:35 AM.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 06:45 AM
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If you pump your own gas, wear a disposable vinyl glove.
Or use hand sanitizer when you've finished pumping the gas and before you touch anything else.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 06:49 AM
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I have taken two road trips in the last few weeks. One from our home on the coast of central California to Las Vegas and back and also from northern Mississippi to Statesville, North Carolina.

The interesting thing to me is that not all gas stations have their restrooms open for use. Some do, some don't. Same with fast food places, so if you're used to stopping at a Starbucks, it may or may not be available to use the restroom. Roadside rest stops are cleaner than I have EVER seen them. Plan ahead!
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 07:01 AM
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"Our only concern regarding the trip is the inability to obtain an annual national parks pass as the parks offices are closed and there's no indication of when they may reopen."

You may want to look at the NPS site. I ~think~ they are accepting receipts for online purchased passes through 31 July.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 07:04 AM
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Also, check REI for the American the Beautiful Pass. Thankfully ours does not expire until the end of August, and our other state park pass is good for a few more months as well. I was worried a month or so ago when we went hiking and was relieved to check the dates on ours.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 07:32 AM
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Checked REI, they only offer the regular pass, spouse qualifies for the senior lifetime pass.

Checked USGS again, and sure enough they are accepting receipts through July 31! So, purchased the pass, paid the $10 processing fee and printed the receipt.

Thank you! This is why I like Fodors!
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by fourfortravel View Post

Our son relocated to San Francisco for work last month and I am chomping at the bit to visit him as soon as CA gives the green light. Good friends are posting to Ghana in August, and the travel itch to visit them in October is strong. We shall see.

It's not California that will give the "green light", but San Francisco. Here's the site to watch:

https://sf.gov/stay-home-except-essential-needs
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 08:58 AM
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If I were going to do what you propose, I'd stock up on comfortable face masks, sanitizer, etc. and definitely have a cooler set up in your car for your own food (to be able to grocery store shop in addition to fast food take out).

That said, I personally do not have the "confidence" or "optimism" to travel at this time. I mean I would do it if I had to get somewhere for a family emergency. But just for vacation, for pleasure, this summer, not for me. And again, if I were, I'd rather camp out in a small RV or van. Definitely not bcomfortable going in and out of various unknown AirBnB rentals.

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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 09:12 AM
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Thank you for your suggestions. Some great points which we were already planning to do restated. We might choose a simpler route, avoiding places with higher numbers of infection.
Please continue to share your experience, if you have traveled in the last 3 months or plan to travel by road in the future.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 09:29 AM
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We mostly stay in Airbnb. Glad to hear that they are taking extra precautions for safety.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mms View Post
Also, check REI for the American the Beautiful Pass. Thankfully ours does not expire until the end of August, and our other state park pass is good for a few more months as well. I was worried a month or so ago when we went hiking and was relieved to check the dates on ours.
All of this is taking time. Earlier, you could get the pass from the visitor center. Not any more. I dont understand why they will not accept the receipts as proof of purchase. This would have made it much economical for many.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 12:09 PM
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{Glad to hear that they are taking extra precautions for safety.}

I really don't think you can say that across the board. Since AirBnB are private rentals, I'm pretty sure each one is different depending on the owner and what they choose to do.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 01:09 PM
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Yes, who could know what they consider "good enough". I'd bring all my own stuff to redo it, although there seems to be some thought that the virus does not live on surfaces for long periods of time. Air circulation would be another area of concern for me.
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Old Jun 11th, 2020, 01:39 PM
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I'm doing a trip by car this summer instead of flying. So that's safe enough. I don't think getting coronavirus from a gas pump handle is very likely. I don't do a lot of things people on here do, though. FOr one thing, I just wear gloves when going shopping or actually pumping gas, then remove them stripping inside out and put them in a paper bag. I have several pair I rotate so I don't wear the same pair unless a few days have passed. I used to wear winter thin stretchy gloves but now that it's hot, I wear those real thin white cotton medical gloves you can buy in CVS (you can get two in a box and they call them dermatological gloves or something). I prefer that to constantly using hand sanitizer and you can't wash your hands immediately a lot of the time anyway. I do not wear vinyl gloves as some suggest as I don't like them and also anything like viruses sticks to slick surfaces more than fabric/cloth, I know from all the info out.

For activities, I'm mainly doing outdoors stuff and will see how many people are around -- light hiking, kayaking, etc. Then road trips in some park areas for scenery (like Blue Ridge parkway). There are a few museums I have on my list or similar things, I'll see if they are open when I go in July. These are not huge things where I'm going (not like the NY MET), they are very small and I suspect there won't be a lot of people in them. I'll see what the situation is like when I go.

Of course I'll take my own PPE, masks, etc. I plan to stay in hotels, will just sanitize (wipes or whatever, at least when driving you can pack a lot more stuff easily in the trunk) main handles, bathroom fixtures, TV remote, etc upon arrival and then will request (with emphasis) that I want no one in my room my entire stay, absolutely no housekeeping, etc. Sometimes even when you request that they mess up, so I'll stress it. I figure sure I may talk to someone when checking in (and I'll wear mask and keep distance), but that should be it and hopefully I can avoid people in the hallways/elevators the few times I'm coming/going.

I'm not an Airbnb person, just not into that and it's too much trouble. I also am not a fan of that company in general. I could see the point if you had a large family, but not for 1-2 people. If I were going to do that, I don't think it would be risky at all if they told you the place had been empty for one week before your arrival. The virus doesn't live that long, only a few days. That may not be likely to get, however.

I imagine I'll eat takeout, all the hotels I've booked have frigs and microwaves, so I could buy simple stuff at a grocery store or something easily enough. I wish I could find a hotel that didn't book people into the same room for several days, I've read some hotels are considering doing that. That would be great, but I picked out my hotels based on my route and hotel itself (and I'm not going places with a lot of choices), so can't discriminate by that. But if you had several choices, you could call and ask about that, what procedures they are doing in that regard.

I'm not going for another month or so, will see how I feel at the time, but since this is road trip, I can wing it. I can always cut my trip short if I'm getting stressed and just drive home, I'm not going farther than a one days drive the entire trip. I already got my National Parks Pass a couple years ago (lifetime), when you could get a senior lifetime pass for about $10, just before the fee went up to $80. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

oh, I also forget to mention, I"m mainly going to a state with a very low rate of infection, and what they do have is mainly in the urban areas, of course, not in the rural parts.

Last edited by Christina; Jun 11th, 2020 at 01:43 PM.
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