Summer vacations to distant locales and family reunions may have been upended this year, but the Northwest is full of beautiful places where physical distance from others isn’t hard to achieve.Many people are staying closer to home and making shorter excursions with their immediate household. While this year’s road trips may not be as carefree as before, there are simple ways to protect yourself and others if traveling. Plan carefully beforehand, and you’ll have more peace of mind on the road.
Pack masks and make it a habit to wear them into any businesses you visit, whether the business requires them or not.
Keep hand sanitizer in your vehicle. Consider disposable gloves for pumping gas or reuse a disposable bag as a glove.
Pack water and food to picnic along the way. This is an easy way to decrease or eliminate multiple interactions with people from other areas.
If you stop to use the restroom on the roadside and find it is closed, please do not leave used toilet paper on the ground. Bring a resealable plastic bag and take it with you to dispose of later.
Before visiting a community, check online to see if it is experiencing a significant rise in cases. To avoid crowds, check to see if any big events are scheduled.
Call ahead to campgrounds and visitor centers. Circumstances surrounding the pandemic are subject to change, and some venues’ websites aren’t updated with the latest information. Some attractions are closed, partially open or open by appointment only to limit the number of people in a space. A phone call is the best way to get up-to-date information.
Before staying at a hotel, consider asking what measures are being taken to prevent the spread of the virus. Some hotels have changed check-in and check-out times to allow more time for cleaning. Some have closed their pools. Continental breakfasts are no longer being served in most places, but many have developed alternatives like sack breakfasts you can pick up in the lobby. Make reservations and pay in advance online, if possible.