Responsible, Safe, and Smart Road-Tripping
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.
由于COVID-19存在于空气中而威胁感染更多的人，美国人对室内/航空旅行持谨慎态度。取而代之的是开车出游的风行 -- 凯鲁亚克（Krououc）和斯坦贝克（Steinbeck）所具有的冒险精神又回来了，而广阔无限的大自然则等待着人们的光临。美国人拥有一种能表达自由感的汽车文化，但如今在病毒危机当下，这种自由的文化还夹杂着些许挑战和障碍。
有许多网站和应用程序可提供有关您旅程的最佳路线、露营地、餐馆、外卖、路边提领食物服务点、汽油费、以及任何您旅行时可能需求的有用信息。如果您的车辆较小并且想留在主要道路上，那么Google Maps或GPS可能就足够了；如果您想进行路边探险，请研究风景优美的路线或小路。如果您驾驶RV，请研究最佳的舒适性和安全性路线（RV LIFE应用程序可提供路线上无法预料的障碍物之警讯，如低悬桥或狭窄的公路，为您寻找安全的绕道及行驶方向）。关键是要在上路之前进行计划，要知道您的手机可能会在路上离线。有了足够的计划和一点自发性，您就可以成为负责任、安全和明智的公路旅行专家。祝您旅途愉快。