WICHITA – With warm weather arriving and states beginning to lift restrictions on non-essential travel, many families may have a vacation on their minds. Road trips can offer a safe and budget-friendly opportunity to travel. Whether journeys reach near or far, plan with safety considerations should be included in trip preparations.
“The great American road trip is still one of the best ways to extend family bonding while exploring stateside destinations,” says Shawn Steward, AAA Kansas spokesman. “Regardless of where you’re headed, planning ahead ensures your travel experience will be both safe and enjoyable.”
AAA offers the following tips for planning a family road trip including a special map to navigate travel rules and restrictions:
Remember Safety First: Don’t travel if you are sick or plan to travel with someone who is sick. Pack face masks, gloves and products to sanitize cars and surfaces for the trip. Plan to make as few stops as possible, but make sure to rest when drowsy or sleepy. Make sure everyone is restrained by seat belts or a child safety seat to prevent injury in case of a sudden stop, swerve or crash. Respect social distancing guidelines set by health officials.
Plan Ahead with A Trusted Travel Agent: Careful planning and preparation can make the difference between a well-enjoyed vacation and a travel nightmare. Leveraging the expertise of a travel professional has never been more important.With the list of AAA Approved and Diamond Rated Hotels, AAA travel experts can help you navigate the hotel recommendations based on acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality for nearly 60,000 properties. You can also visit www.AAA.com/Diamonds to find an inspector approved local hotel in the destination city that will meet your needs.
The Centers for Disease Control also recommends that travelers clean and disinfect all high-touch hotel surfaces. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, remote controls, toilets, and sink faucets. Bring an EPA-registered disinfectant and other personal cleaning supplies.
Check Destination Business Operations/Local State Restrictions: AAA has a special online COVID-19 Travel Restrictionsmap of the United States to help travelers keep track of the ever changing landscape of rules and regulations, paramount to ensuring a SAFE and fun-filled family vacation. Review the operational hours and protocols of destination attractions, rest stops and more along your travel route. Closures, stay-at-home orders and quarantine rules vary greatly across states, and even among various counties and cities within the states.
Prepare Your Vehicle: Due to stay-at-home orders, many vehicles may have not been driven in months. Prior to a road trip, check out your vehicle by taking it to a trusted repair facility to perform maintenance such as battery, tire, brake and fluid checks. Be prepared for emergencies with a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit with reflectors or emergency flares, and drinking water and snacks for passengers. Families can also have puzzles, a charged iPad and books for kids to keep them entertained while in the car.
Limit Distractions: Keep attention on the road by pre-programing GPS devices and adjusting seats and mirrors before heading out. Allow a driver to remain focused safely on driving by enlisting the help of passengers. Don’t use handheld or hands-free cell phones while behind the wheel.
AAA.com/RoadTrip is a free resource to help travelers find inspiration, explore destinations, plan the perfect route and get their vehicle road trip ready. AAA Travel is also offering Virtual Travel Events with expert road trip advice. Visit AAA Virtual Travel Road Trip Events to register for the free June 2nd or June 4th events.
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AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and nearly 347,000 members in Kansas. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.