To many of us, the arrival of summer means that it’s time for a road trip! Sure there might be a little more traffic and higher temperatures than there is the rest of the year, but travel with loved ones can be rewarding for residents of Sherman Oaks and elsewhere.
A traditional road trip can be enjoyable to anyone but may be especially meaningful to those receiving palliative care. It could potentially be their last trip like this if their health condition continues to progress. Or it could be a nice reward for making it through difficult procedures and testing.
At Accredited Home Care, we equally love the idea of celebrating for any occasion and finding something worth celebrating. We also have thought that a road trip can be a great reward for overcoming a health challenge, or even continuing a tradition if these journeys something you and your pals like to do regularly.
But current health restrictions may affect how things go this year.
The COVID-19 infection has sickened and even killed, people around the world. It has led to some businesses closing their doors, and if they re-open, they may have all sorts of restrictions in place, from plastic barriers to hand sanitizer. While being able to re-open keep the door open is an accomplishment, the health situation can create extra tension and concern for those with poor or challenged health, or for those who don’t want to wear masks.
Safety Options For Travel
While a road trip can still have advantages over vs. staying at home, consider other safety options for those who want to explore the open road but still may be concerned about their health and the health protocols around them.
These can include:
- Get info about states you’re visiting. In this current climate, every state can create their own rules as far as what types of businesses are open, whether they allow people inside or what health precautions to take. Some states have requirements that everyone has to wear masks, others leave it up to local communities. Some ask that people pass through “self-quarantine” afterward. You may find that some businesses may be closed, such as restaurants or hotels. Learning these details ahead of time can help you be prepared for any restrictions on where you eat or shop.
- Bring your own supplies. Many businesses may offer personal protective items like masks, wipes, or hand sanitizer. They also may say they wipe down fixtures and common areas regularly. But if you’re concerned about your own health, consider bringing along your own selection of masks and similar supplies just in case wherever you’re visiting doesn’t provide these. It also wouldn’t hurt to personally clean some shared areas, like light switches in a hotel room, since you don’t have any way of knowing the last time this was done properly or thoroughly.
- Ask about conditions ahead of time. When booking a hotel or restaurant, find out if there are any restrictions due to health concerns. Are masks required? Have prices increased? Can you enter the lobby for a hotel or a restaurant or do you have to wait in the car? Knowing this information when you make your reservation can prevent any surprises or miscommunication when you get there, like trying to enter a closed area or finding out that masks are required.
- Avoid social/group activities when possible. Some road trips often include fun group excursions in different towns like historical tours or boat cruises or even visits to historical sites and buildings. If you’re worried about being in close contact with people, consider avoiding these or finding other alternatives. Maybe early in the morning or later in the evening can cut down on crowds. Maybe there are self-guided tours that can be given, so you don’t need to cluster with other sightseers. If there aren’t any options, such as a shuttle in a national park, practice social distancing, and similar protections such as mask-wearing.
- Arrange to stay in touch with your medical team. Unless you’re in poor or critical health, odds are your palliative care team will tell you to go and have fun but be careful. It’s a good idea to keep in touch with them especially if your health does need to be monitored. Or, if he or she is part of a larger national or regional medical group, it might be a good idea to check in occasionally or visit a clinic in the area you’re traveling if you have concerns or need a check-up.
Where you stay can also affect your response to COVID-19 concerns. A higher-end hotel might have more regular cleaning of guest rooms and common areas, but more interactions with higher numbers of guests. It also may have more areas that are supposed to be sanitized regularly like restaurants and lounges. A vacation rental may have less traffic and fewer restrictions (if it’s just you and your family, maybe a mask isn’t needed).
Since July is considered National Vacation Rental Month, it’s a good time to look for ways to relax, whatever your health status.