After being cooped up in the house for months, you are more than ready to go on a road trip to visit friends and family. At the same time, due to the pandemic, it is more necessary than ever that you are well prepared for your journey.
Before you hit the road, take the time to research and take care of the following tasks.
Make Sure You Have Adequate Auto Insurance
It goes without saying that you hope you will not have to make any type of car insurance claim while you are away. But the only thing worse than having a vehicle break down or fender bender while you are on a road trip is learning that you have inadequate coverage.
You should have an auto insurance policy that offers both comprehensive and collision coverage, which will cover the damages any time your vehicle is involved in an accident, and you should also be sure you have enough liability coverage on your policy. This coverage, which most states require, will protect you financially in case you are at fault in an accident. You may also want to double check that you are covered for road side assistance, towing and what your deductible amounts are.
Call Hotels and Restaurants
Prior to the global pandemic, road tripping might have meant stopping to eat whenever you wanted and pulling over at a hotel when you were getting tired. Not everything is currently open, so planning ahead is more important than ever. After figuring out your route, check online to see which state-run highway rest stops are open. Call restaurants that you know are on the route, or check their websites to see if they are open and also if their restrooms are available for customers. Rather than play it by ear for any overnight lodging, make a reservation at a hotel along the way and also confirm what amenities they are offering.
Stock up on Snacks, Sanitizer and Water
Because some restaurants and convenience stores may be closed, it is more important than ever to bring along lots of food, water, hand sanitizer and other supplies. The good thing about traveling by car is that you don’t have to worry about packing lightly; have a good supply of wet wipes and toilet paper too, in case the roadside stops that are open are out, and don’t forget extra face masks. You might also want to bring along a box of disposable gloves, which you can put on prior to gassing up your vehicle; this way, if the gas station is out of paper towels you can still keep your hands as clean as possible.
Research Tire and Lube Shops
Ideally, your car should be road-trip ready prior to heading out on the freeway. But in case your oil light comes on or you notice a tire is getting low, research lube and tire shops that will be on your route. Many quick lube/oil businesses can service your vehicle while you sit inside, and if there is a Costco on the way, call to see if they offer tire service and if their food court, bathrooms and/or gas pumps are open, as well as their hours of service.
Enjoy Your Time Away!
Given the current circumstances with the pandemic, this road trip may give you an even bigger sense of freedom. It will be wonderful to get away and experience the joy of the open road. By doing some pre-trip research including making sure your car insurance offers enough coverage, that you have a place to hang your hat at night and bringing along plenty of supplies, your trip should also be stress-free.