With COVID-19 airborne and threatening to infect more people, Americans are leery of indoor/air travel. Instead, road-tripping is back -- the adventurous spirit of Kerouac and Steinbeck returns, and the great outdoors awaits. Americans are blessed with a car culture that expresses a sense of freedom, but that blessing is now mixed with challenges and roadblocks during this time of a global pandemic.
There are certain worries as you take your road trips: the increase of the chance of being infected or unknowingly spreading the virus; how hotels or places of accommodation take precautionary procedures; how people you come across behave during the pandemic. You may also be stopped at the state borders and have unusual inquiries from officials: where you are going; where you traveled from; who is traveling with you, etc. (Maine and New Mexico are still requiring some out-of-state and international travelers to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. Florida requires travelers to complete informational surveys detailing their vacation plans.) However， the quandary of road-tripping will subside as you educate yourself about the roads as well as the virus.
With careful planning/reservations and precautionary observations of your surroundings, you can happily road-trip like before. Know the routes you take involve what kind of case numbers and relevant state regulations; take the road less traveled; always wear a mask in public; wash and sanitize your hands; social distance. You may have a few extra items to pack, such as sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, cleaning products, emergency kits, as well as food items to avoid eating out too much. Exercise caution when you absolutely need to use a public restroom; wait before you use a stall someone just used. You can never be too careful.
There are many websites and apps that provide useful information regarding best routes, campsites, drive-throughs, restaurants, take-outs, curbside pickups, gas costs, or any travel needs you may have. Google Maps or GPS may be good enough if you have a small vehicle and want to stay on the main roads; research scenic routes or byways if you’re in the mood for roadside adventures. Research best routes for comfort and safety if you drive a RV (RV LIFE app provides turn-by-turn directions safely around unforeseen obstacles like low-hanging bridges or narrow highways). The key is to plan before you hit the road, knowing that your cellphone may be offline on the road. With enough planning and a little spontaneity, you can be a responsible, safe, and smart road-tripper. Happy Trails.