Despite the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, people still need to travel, for family, work or other essential reasons. Driving has become the preferred way to reach a destination, according to Farmers Insurance research.
The national insurer group found most Americans are planning to stick closer to home for summer vacations and of those who are willing to travel, 62% are planning to do so by car or RV.
Staying safe means having the vehicle checked before your trip and, while on the road, adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for face coverings, social distancing to limit exposure. and simply practicing smart hygiene: Wash and sanitize hands often; keep hands out of your mouth, nose and eyes; cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and put used tissues in no-touch disposal receptacles.
The most important action to take: Stay home and isolate if you’re sick.
Also, look at govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19 for the most current Oregon travel recommendations and best practices to avoid the spread of the coronavirus and read 10 things to consider before going back outside during the coronavirus pandemic in Oregon.
Whether you’re heading out to start a new life or new job, or escaping the confines of your home to camp nearby, Farmers and travel expert Jeanenne Tornatore offer these tips to stay safe:
Know before you go: Before embarking on a road trip adventure, consider getting an overall checkup of your car to ensure comfortable cruising, especially if your car has been sitting for an extended period of time. Take your car to a professional for an inspection well in advance of your trip, so you have plenty of time to address any unexpected issues that come up.
Check your coverage: It’s also a good idea to know your insurance coverage before getting behind the wheel. You probably already know your personal auto coverage, but if you’re planning to rent a vehicle or an RV, it’s worth checking your coverage options. Some credit cards cover car rental insurance.
Go phone-free in the car: It’s the law since limiting mobile phone use is one of the easiest ways to become a more focused driver and that keeps everyone safer on the road. Hands-free calling and voice texting can still be distractions, so think about using a smartphone app like Signal that can help you monitor your driving habits.
Pump the brakes: Take the time to safely slow down if you have to go over a pothole or any other object in the road, and keep a safe distance from other cars. Farmers data indicates that 24% of all collision claims in the summer involve a rear-end collision.
Enjoy a quiet drive: Road trips are great for bonding with loved ones, but boisterous conversation can be a distraction for drivers.
Treat yourself: Even if you’re staying home, it’s still time off from work, so treat it like one. Set up an out-of-office reply for your work emails, think about turning off email notifications on your phone and be sure to take plenty of pictures so you can cherish your “homecation” memories forever.
Car emergency kit: Redfora sells emergency bags and car emergency kits. Sign up to receive an instant $10 off your first purchase plus emergency preparedness tips.
Luggage: Tumi, with a store in Southwest Portland’s Washington Square, is offering 20% off on your first online purchase. Samsonite has luggage, backpacks and packing sets. See other road trip essentials and take up to 50% off select travel products. Shipping is free on orders of $99 or more. And Away Travel has luggage and weekend bags “designed to last for life” that come with a 100-day trial and free shipping.
Car and trunk organizers: The Container Store has bins, seat wedges, vent caddies and other practical products designed to keep a car tidy. Make your road trips sweeter with a pet car hammock or travel electric blankets. Take 30% select travel items. Amazon has backseat organizers for kids’ stuff.
Camera: A digital camera with a zoom lens is helpful to capture images of birds in flight and faraway wildlife, but a cellphone camera is easier to carry.
Staples has phone tripods for hand-free, steady snapping and Bluetooth remote-control Selfie Sticks as well as magnetic cellphone holders for inside the car.
Hand sanitizer: Guru Nanda 12-pack hand sanitizer spritzer keeps clean hands on the go. It’s a 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer enriched with true lavender essential oil and coconut oil. Take 15% off your first order.
Soap: The Sustainable Travel Store sells organic, face washing travel kits as well as plant-based laundry soap.
Coronavirus face masks: Old Navy has a five pack of reusable, cloth face masks ($12.50) for adults, in assorted colors, prints and patterns. And Uncommongoods has a set of two, kid-designed, reusable rainbow face coverings for $25, with 100% of profits donated to NYC Health + Hospitals.
For achy muscles: The CBD Distillery uses hemp extract, a nonintoxicating cannabinoid, in creams and oils for mind and body wellness. Wldkat is offering 20% off its CBD skin products and free shipping on order of $50 or more. Lux Beauty Club has a 10% promo code for new customers of its CBD beauty and wellness products.
Motion sickness: CVS Pharmacy can provide you with a customized treatment plan, recommend the right over-the-counter products and write prescriptions when medically appropriate to prevent and treat motion sickness.
Support pillows: Check out Purple’s lumbar support pillows and seat cushions for added comfort in the car. Samsonite’s lumbar support pillow has a mild cooling gel to relieve lower back pain. Nordstrom has a silk travel neck pillow with a matching eye mask.
Sooth tired eyes: Popmask’s Starry Eyes is a self-heating eye mask to sooth tired eyes from looking at the road all day. See CVS Pharmacy’s Beauty on the go pages to find skincare products free from parabens, phthalates and formaldehyde as well as other eye masks and treatments.
Vist the Dermstore to receive 12 Dermstore must-haves free with any $125 purchase and the code SUPERSET. Tatcha is including a summer tote bag for orders of $100 or more of its Japanese skincare products made with pure ingredients. And Sephora is having a sale on its travel mini sizes plus free shipping with the code FREESHIP.
Sun protection: Kiehl’s has a variety of UV-blocking sunscreen products for face and body. You can connect personally with a Kiehl’s Skin Care Expert for a one-on-one session to discuss your healthy skin needs. Receive three super deluxe skin produce samples with every order of $65 or more with the code SUPER by July 14.
Snacks: BiteBox Care Package has an assortment of 45 snacks, from cookies to granola bars.
Coolers: Keep food and drinks cold and safe to eat. Coleman has iconic coolers and other camping gear while Yeti has hard- and soft-sided coolers and S’well has 15% off insulated travel mugs.
Travel journals: Wolf & Badger has a 72-page, unlined pocket notebook to record your adventures and Uncommon Goods has unique journals keep your thoughts bound in style.
Maps: There’s nothing more fun that spreading out an old-fashioned map. https://store.The Rand McNally store has travel guides and free shipping on orders of $49 more. Kids can study geography and world facts before their trip by coloring a world map tablecloth with 10 washable markers. Uncommon Goods also has a USA coloring tablecloth to teach geography as well as state birds, animals and flowers.
Bike racks and other gear: Dick’s Sporting Goods has bikes, bike racks for cars and other outdoor equipment — from paddle boards to kayaks — available with contact-free curbside pick up or free shipping for orders of $49 or more. Take up to 75% off select items during the summer sale.
What’s missing? Don’t know what you need? Amazon has road trip items for kids, like Auto Bingo and other activities plus practical items such as a a waterproof travel tray and disposable toilet seat covers as well as plastic pee bottles for men. REI has travel urination devices for women.
— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072
[email protected] | @janeteastman
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