The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world as everyone knew it in unprecedented ways. Still, you adapted — and continue to. However, like most people, you likely need a change of scenery, but that raises new questions and concerns — not only about the safest way to get from here to there but also how to do so without bruising your bank account in the process.
To help you put together a plan of action, Wisconsin Buys Local offers the following travel tips.
Hit the Road
All things considered, a road trip across your home state of Wisconsin and in your own vehicle is still the safest and most affordable way to travel. In your RV, you have control over the environment and who you do — or do not — share your ride with. It may not be the fastest way to make your business meeting or reach your resort, but if you heed the following tips, you can greatly minimize your chance of encountering COVID-19, as well as expenses on the road:
- Make as few stops as possible.
- Pack enough hand sanitizer, masks, and other essentials for the entire trip. You can do your shopping in advance to minimize on-the-road purchases that could hurt your travel budget.
- Bring snacks and drinks with you. For longer rides, bring a cooler full of sandwiches, salads, and other simple meals to limit the need to stop for meals — and, again, better keep to your travel budget.
- If you do need to stop for food, patronize restaurants with drive-thru windows or curbside pick-up.
- Practice good hand hygiene at the gas station: Use tissues, wipes, or disinfectant on buttons and handles, and sanitize your hands thoroughly after filling your tank.
Make Sure Your Passengers Are on the Same Page
Traveling with others has its benefits and its drawbacks. In addition to the pleasure of someone else’s company, you also have the ability to take turns with driving duty. This not only cuts down on your overall travel time but also makes it possible to traverse great distances without having to stop, minimizing both infection risks and additional expenses. That said, if your entire party is too tired to drive, exercise common sense. Find the nearest campsite with hookups so you can take a break and rest.
It’s also still vital to ensure that your passengers are healthy before you depart. Your RV or camper interior is small. If you’re traveling with anyone who you have not been quarantining with or who has not been vaccinated, don’t hesitate to demand that he or she receives a negative COVID-19 test or quarantines for up to two weeks before you hit the highway.
Buy Hygiene Supplies in Advance
No matter how you travel or with whom, you’re going to need to stock up on pandemic provisions. Planning ahead makes this easier and less expensive. Here’s what your hygiene kit should include:
- Disposable masks
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant wipes
- Disposable gloves
- Paper towels
Buying the supplies you need closer to home almost always guarantees significant savings. This is true all the time, but it’s especially relevant during a public health crisis when supplies may be limited in certain areas.
Plan for Your Destination
Affordable destinations around Wisconsin are key to helping keep travel costs low, so consider options like visiting the closest national park, checking out regional cities you’ve always wanted to see, or even taking a trip to your hometown. To make these excursions more enjoyable, find creative ways to see the sights. Maybe there’s a special monument on the way to your preferred state park, or perhaps you can catch a ball game for your city exploration. If you’re returning to your home town, try to connect with old friends you haven’t seen since high school, or time your visit for a local event that’s safe to attend. Sites like ClassFinder make it easy to look up former friends, whether it’s in your hometown or a neighboring town.
Re-evaluate Your Auto Insurance Needs
Finally, if you haven’t talked to your auto insurance company since the pandemic started, give them a call. Many insurers are slashing premiums. If your provider won’t offer you a discount because you’re driving less these days, shop around for a provider that will.
Above all, make sure your RV or camper is not only road-worthy but can also withstand the miles that you plan on clocking in. There’s no shortage of resources online that can help you out on this task.
Traveling across Wisconsin during a global pandemic is a unique experience that presents opportunities for stress at every turn. Fortunately, with savvy planning and a little attention to detail, you can significantly reduce your anxiety, as well as the impact on your budget — all while staying healthy.
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