The COVID Traveler

Venturing out for a short road trip, only the third time in the past year, my husband and I traveled to the beautiful central California coast last week.  And while COVID-19 cases are going down in our state, we are both over 65 and very mindful of being out in the world these days; I believe we were successful in staying safe and well.

Here are a few tips I’d like to share about traveling, pandemic-style.

1)  Be COVID-prepared

Before you leave, make absolutely sure you have lots of hand sanitizer–wipes or liquid.  You never know what you’ll touch, and while you hope you’ll find soap at restroom stops, don’t count on it.  And bring more than one mask per person.  Keep one in the car or your purse in case you leave the other at a stop, in a jacket, or in your room.

2)  Remember your hydration

On long car trips or in different environments, it’s important to bring your own water.  I always travel with at least one full 24-oz. water bottle.  Nowadays it’s a great idea to also carry bottled water, as you may not want to re-fill your personal bottle at rest stops or hotels.  And chances are the cost of bottled water at a gas station or convenience store will be far more than you would have spent at home.

3)  Bring healthy snacks

You might not be eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables on your trip, so pack apples, oranges, grapes, carrot and celery sticks, cucumber or zucchini slices.  Invest in a small cooler and an ice pack you can freeze to keep these items cold.  Bananas, nuts, and raisins also travel well, as do whole-grain crackers.

4)  Be assertive about restaurant seating

If you don’t feel comfortable where you’re about to be seated, politely ask to move.  You may prefer an outdoor table, one that’s more isolated, or in a more favorable spot for air flow.  Most hostesses will gladly accommodate your request.

5)  Make opportunities for movement

As I wrote in my last blog, physical activity supports your immune system in a number of ways.  So walk around for five minutes at every rest stop and find safe places to walk at your destination.  We love strolling on the beach and in quaint downtown areas.  Got stairs at your location?  Go up and down for a few minutes to get your heart going and give your lower body a workout.  And finally, don’t think an opportunity to exercise will drop in your lap, you’ll need to intentionally make time for movement.

6)  Enjoy conversations with interesting folks

Some of my fondest memories from last week are the fascinating talks we had with people who live in different parts of the state.  I have missed chatting with others so much!  Most of the time we were mindful of keeping our distance and wearing masks where appropriate, and we enjoyed some fabulous conversations.

7)  And finally, document your trip with photos or journal entries.

While it’s hard to believe now, we will look back on these crazy times in a few years.  And in the future, your children and grandchildren will definitely enjoy hearing and seeing what it was like to have survived the worldwide pandemic of ’20-’21!

Want more ideas to stay healthy while traveling? Please reach out to me.

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