How To Take A Road Trip In India During Covid

Taking A Road Trip In India During Covid

The coronavirus has enforced a state of caution over all our lives, making us think twice before doing something as simple as stepping out of our houses for a walk. But restlessness has begun to set in, and we’ve been bit by the travel bug all too often by now. Taking a road trip is a great way to break the everyday routine we’ve sunk into. Plus, it’s also much safer than hopping on a flight or train and coming into contact with other people. But taking a road trip during Covid requires some pre-planning and preparation – from where to go to tips while you’re on the trip, we’ve covered everything you need to know.  Read on to know how to take a road trip in India during Covid.

How To Take A Road Trip In India During Covid

Where To Go

Itching to travel once more means you may be tempted to drive straight off to Goa, or to head to the hills of Panchgani. But there’s a few things to factor in when taking a road trip during Covid. For one, keep in mind that the rules for interstate travel are not fixed and can change overnight. The change can be basic, like not allowing over four people to be out together at a time, or drastic, like requiring a Covid-negative test to enter the state. We recommend staying within your state itself, so as to avoid the risk of being stranded should the rules suddenly change.

India is crammed with beautiful and unique places, so we guarantee that you’ll have several great options to drive to within your state no matter where you are. However, instead of just picking the first location that comes to mind, consider doing a little digging to head to some place off the beaten path. Locations that are offbeat are less frequented by other tourists, so not only can you get the place and enjoy the views to yourself, but you also greatly reduce the risk of coming in contact with strangers. Nothing is better than a holiday that is socially distanced, which is why offbeat places are the places to be. 

Also Read: 6 Offbeat Travel Experiences in India

With Whom To Go

The good thing about planning a road trip is that it is comparatively safer than other journeys. You don’t have to worry about crowds or public transport, since you travel with a set group of friends or family in your own vehicle. But, we do recommend exercising a little caution when deciding whom to travel with.

How To Take A Road Trip In India During Covid

Irrespective of our personal opinion, the virus must be taken seriously, if not for your own sake then at least for the sake of other people. People who match this sentiment are people who are safe to bring along on a road trip. Also consider the number of people you are journeying with; try to limit it to no more than three to four people per vehicle. This will greatly help you if Section 144 (prohibition of the assembly of four or more people) is put into place out of the blue.

Also read: 5 Things To Do During Covid

What To Carry For  A Road Trip During Covid

Packing for a road trip is done with a lot of excitement; after all, card games and snacks are just two of the many fun aspects of a road trip. But taking a road trip during Covid requires a little serious thought on your part. Here’s a bunch of things you normally wouldn’t require, but will certainly help you on your road trip now.

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Sanitization Essentials: Stock up on sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and disinfectant spray. Also make sure you carry gloves and spare masks with you. You ought to be changing your mask every 10 hours. Make sure you sanitize your hands often, ideally every 20 minutes to half an hour for optimum effectiveness.

Spare Clothes: Carrying a spare set of clothes when going on any long trip makes sense, even more so during Covid. Also ensure that you carry some long-sleeved clothes and scarves so you can cover up as much of your skin as possible for days when you venture out.

Plenty Of Water: If possible, try to carry a large can of water out of which you can refill your bottles. Always be on the lookout for legitimate sources to refill your water, and when the opportunity presents itself, always refill it. But be picky with where you refill it, and buy packaged drinking water if you have no other option. Try to buy as big bottles as possible to reduce the use of small plastic bottles. 

Snacks And Cutlery: Part of the fun of a road trip is stopping at ramshackle cafes and dhabas along the road for some delicious food. But due to the virus, this is a risk we recommend you avoid running. Carry plenty of filling and nutritious snacks, and always eat piping hot, freshly cooked food when you have to make a food stop. Also carry your own plates and cutlery, sanitizing them before and after use.

Garbage Disposal Bags: You may not easily be able to dispose of wrappers and other garbage when you’re on the move. Make sure you carry some sturdy garbage disposal bags, constantly collecting any garbage and disposing of it all in proper garbage bins. Most importantly, store all the used tissues, cloths and disinfectant wipes in a separate bag. In no event should you carelessly dispose of the garbage or litter in any way.

Medical Kit: Carrying a medical kit on you when going for any trip or journey is always a good idea, since it works wonders in case of an emergency. Your kit should include basics like band-aids, medicinal cream or powder, crepe bandages and cotton. Also add in Covid-related precautionary measures like painkillers, pills for fever and cold symptoms, and a thermometer.


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Tips For Before You Leave

A little extra planning will go a long way when you’re taking a road trip during Covid. There’s apps to download and cars to be serviced, so get reading!

Download Payment Apps: Make sure that you have payment apps on your phone. Digital payments help avoid the spread of germs that happen when exchanging currency. Keep your gloves on when making a cash payment, properly sanitizing the money that is exchanged with disinfectant spray.

Prepare Your Car: Get your car properly cleaned and serviced before the trip, and make sure you have a spare tire in case of emergencies. Once your car comes back from servicing, proceed to thoroughly sanitize it. Wear gloves, and use a disinfectant spray and a cloth. Wipe down every surface, even the glass windows. Make sure you disinfect the most-touched surfaces twice over, like the steering wheel, seat belt buckles, AC knobs and window openers. Pack a set of disinfectant wipes and gloves in the glove compartment.

Covid-Related Research: When charting out your route, make a note of all Covid hospitals and care centers, testing centers, and helpline numbers. Everyone should have downloaded the Aarogya Setu App, irrespective of whether you are crossing state borders or not. Each of you should fill a Self Health Declaration Form and carry it with you. 

Isolation: Your group members, whether family or friends, should all isolate themselves properly 14 days before the start of your journey. This includes staying at home for all 14 days, only stepping out when absolutely necessary, and avoiding eating outside food. Monitor your health closely, and postpone the trip should any of you show Covid symptoms.

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Tips While Traveling

Just because the world is warding off a pandemic, doesn’t mean we aren’t entitled to a few days’ break from the chaos. However, once you hit the open road, remember to keep following safety measures through the excitement.

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Quarantine According To Guidelines: If you’re crossing into another state, you may be required to go through a period of quarantine before you can resume your journey. Each state has different quarantine guidelines, so make sure you stay up to date with the latest regulations and account for the quarantine time when planning your trip.

Avoid Too Many Stops: Safely reaching your destination by not being a nuisance to anyone else is the best possible way to go about your road trip, and this also means making fewer stops. We recommend stopping at places that don’t have stalls or crowds nearby. Take in the fresh air and the sights around you, just make sure that your parked vehicles don’t obstruct traffic.

Keep An Eye On The Time: As mentioned, Covid-related regulations can change with the blink of an eye. Try to make it to your accommodation before sundown, and definitely before 8 pm. This is because several locations have a strict night curfew which usually is between 8 pm to 6 am.

Disinfect your clothes: Try to disinfect your clothes at least once every 10 hours by spraying it over with disinfectant spray. Make sure to clean the parts that come in contact with other surfaces the most, like the cuff of your sleeves and the back.

Tips For After Your Journey Ends

While the fun and frolic of your road trip ends when you get back home, your vigilance does not. Covid symptoms can present themselves anywhere between two to 14 days after a person gets infected with the virus, which is why you must take added precautions. 

Sanitize Everything: As soon as you are home, keep everything in a corner and take a bath before you get close to your other family members. Proceed to sanitize everything, down to your car keys and earphones. Sanitize your car down completely as well. 

Isolate: Your entire group must self-isolate for 14 days, to prevent the risk of transmitting the virus to more people in case any of you get infected. Closely monitor your health, and immediately inform the other members of your group if you get a fever or cold symptoms. 

Interacting with faces you haven’t seen in a while, getting a change of environment and breathing in the fresh air – taking a road trip will certainly do you some good. But make sure you stay safe and sanitized no matter what; a road trip done safely is a road trip that will have nothing but pleasant memories.


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