If you’re like us, chances are you’re itching to leave your home and hit the road again. After all, there’s a certain charm that exudes from being in a car with your loved ones singing along to your favourite travel songs, and munching on snacks along the way. However, as is the case with most things in the post-Corona world, safety is predicted to take centre-stage. Here’s a list of things to keep in mind before planning a road trip in India post Coronavirus. By Bayar Jain

As per trends, road trips are expected to see a rise in the post-COVID world, and justifiably so! With the fears of big crowds lurking at airports and railway stations, road trips come with an inherent advantage of intimacy and small groups, making it an apt means of vacationing for wanderers like us. That aside, the lure of a good-old-fashioned road trip is hard to resist! However, before you go ahead and plan your next big adventure, keep these tips in mind to ensure a safe drive ahead.

Planning a road trip in India post-coronavirus? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Research extensively


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Currently, the country has varying degrees of quarantine rules and restrictions on travel. While some states are permitting inter-state and inter-district travel, the same may not be the case for another. Make sure you research on whether one needs to obtain a travel pass to venture to the road to avoid getting pulled up unnecessarily. Moreover, the duration of quarantine at the destination – if any – could also differ. This is vital in planning the number of days you intend on spending at the destination. For example, if the destination has a mandatory seven-day quarantine in place for road travellers, you would have to factor that in while figuring out the duration of your stay.

2.  Pack sanitisers and face masks


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Consider these as your must-pack safety weapons, irrespective of the mode of transport you opt for. However, during a road trip, the use of sanitisers, face masks, and disposable gloves increases as chances are you’d be stopping at different places along the route, all with varying degrees of hygiene. Pack disinfecting wipes in bulk and a chemically-resistant spraying bottle. These tools will come extra handy for loo-breaks. In fact, consider buying portable and disposable urination devices such as Pee Buddy to ensure feminine hygiene and restrict the chance of catching infections. Moreover, keep a mini dustbin in the car – a large bag also works – so you can dispose off these wastes properly.

3. Limit your stops


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The safest way to take a road trip right now would be to limit your stops along the way. For this, try chalking out a route beforehand that isn’t too long. Try restricting your pit stops to essentials only such as car refuelling or bathroom breaks. If possible, get your car’s tank completely filled before hitting the road. Doing so will further cut down the number of stops you’ll be making and also lower the chances of getting stranded on the highway.

4. Pack snacks


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To limit your stops, packing snacks is a good idea. Not only will you have food that you like, but it will also curb your chances of contracting the virus by eating at food joints by the road. It’s best to pack snacks that won’t rot during the journey, such as biscuits and chips. Dry snacks tend to last longer than wet ones. Energy-boosting drinks and fruit juices could be some of the beverages you pack (apart from litres of water!). Should you choose to pack fruits, opt for whole fruits that don’t require cutting or deseeding like bananas, apples, or grapes. To remove any harmful pesticides, consider packing the fruits in a dilution of baking powder or soda, and washing it with fresh water before consumption.

5. Road trip with close ones


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As tempting as it would be to go on an all-buddies road trip right now, it’s ideal to plan one with the people you’re already quarantining with. If you’re going to take a road trip with four separate friends, for example, chances are that the people would be staying with four different sets of people. In doing so, the chances of the virus travelling from one person to another could also increase.

6. Consider getting insured


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Despite the precautions you take, it’s always advised to get a health insurance before embarking on a trip. Before planning your road trip, understand where and how to get treated in case required. Knowing the nearest COVID-treatment facilities near your final destination, and jotting down the ones that are present along the way could help you stay prepared. Keep the details of your health insurance readily available and understand the various aspects covered under it. While it would be best if one need not avail the insurance, it’s always better to be prepared.

Related: 10 Best Road Trips In India You Can Start Planning Already, And These Are Also Offbeat!