5 Essential Road Trip Tips for Taking a Road Trip

History Fangirl has just turned six years old! To make sure all travel guides are up to date, some posts are getting overhauled, which means you may come across posts that are under construction. Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more details.

Boy, hasn’t road tripping taken on a whole new meaning lately? If you had asked someone whether a quarantine getaway would become a thing even just a few months ago, they would have probably laughed in your face.

How things have changed!

Of course, we still want to travel if it’s safe to do so. Here are five road trip tips to help keep you and those around you safe while you’re on the move.

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Road Trip Tips

Essential Travel Resources for 2021 & 2022

These are my favorite companies that I use on my travels.

Find the best deals on hotels & vacation rentals on Booking.com.

For road trips and ground transportation, rent a car through Discover Cars.

Find the best city tours, day tours, bus tours, & skip-the-line tickets on GetYourGuide.

For packing and travel essentials order via Amazon.

For travel guidebooks to have with you during your trip, I always pick one or two (or five) from Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Moon Travel Guides, or Fodor’s Travel Guides.

Get reliable travel insurance through World Nomads.

Book an affordable family or romantic photography session on your trip through Flytographer (Use the code HISTORYFANGIRL for 25% off your first photoshoot).

Road Trip Tips for Safe Road Tripping in 2021 & 2022

Keep these in mind as you plan your travels!

Don’t travel if you have COVID-19 symptoms

coronavirus road trip tips

There’s no getting around this first tip. If you feel like you’re getting a cold, then you shouldn’t take your road trip.  

No ifs, no buts.

We’re all in this together and this one isn’t just for you, but for everyone else in the car.  If one person is infected, then it won’t be long until you all are.

Symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of taste
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

If we’re going to conquer COVID-19, then we need to take action to limit its spread and unfortunately, that means not traveling if there’s a chance you’re sick.

Protect yourself and others with hand sanitizer and face masks

Do not travel if you have covid-19 symptoms!

When taking a road trip in 2020, it’s important to be safe and prepared before you leave home.

As well as practicing frequent hand washing, here is a list of basic hygiene products worth considering before you head off on a road trip:

  • Face masks: A fashionable and stylish face mask such as any of our recommended Hoorag products.
  • Hand sanitizer: Include sanitizing wipes for shared surfaces such as restaurant tables or shopping trolley handles. 
  • Disposable gloves: Even without COVID-19, you surely know how disgusting gas station bathrooms can be.


Remember, the more you pack beforehand, the less you have to stop at crowded rest stops, leaving yourself exposed.

Plan your route to avoid hotspots

google maps on phone

The coronavirus is a dynamic, ever-changing beast with new hotspots flaring up or dying down throughout the country each week.

It’s imperative that you follow the news and plan your road trip to avoid these hotspots.  Some states or regions may have official recommendations you must follow.

Map out which roadways you intend to use and ensure that you’re not going to get caught up or turned around.  Calling ahead to confirm restaurants and attractions are even open is another hot tip.

What a bummer it would be if you missed out or even worse, had to abandon your trip halfway because you didn’t have a plan.

Pack your own groceries and use drive-through for takeaway

road trip tips

In terms of stopping to eat while on the road, consider packing your own groceries or only using the contactless drive through if you’re desperate.

Food delivery services are another great contactless option, with most now allowing you to select where you’d like your food left to minimize the risk for all involved.

Reduced restaurant hours and seating arrangements may also be in effect, so unless you want to risk going hungry, pack extra food you can prepare yourself each morning.

Once again, consider calling ahead if you have plans to stop or eat out.  There’s no harm in double-checking before you stop.

Consider day trips within your state rather than overnighters

USA - Oklahoma - Level view of Turner Falls waterfall and lake in Davis, Oklahoma

While taking a long-distance road trip to escape is what most people dream of, it may be worth considering exploring your own city or state instead. There are scenic drives and waterfalls easily accessible to most of the country.

In our day to day lives, it’s human nature to get into a routine and stick to it.  This means we miss so much local beauty and excitement right under our noses.

Try and flick that mental switch we all have and don the hat of a tourist in your own town.  Explore different local sights, sounds, and tastes that you’d normally overlook.

You never know what you will find close to home unless you take a look!

More Road Trip Resources

Young Asian man staying in the blanket reading magazine book in camper van with mountain scenery through the window. Road trip in summer od South Island, New Zealand.

Heading out on the road? Check out these great road trip songs, plus here are some funny mask and virus Instagram captions for your pics!

See also
13 Tips to Breastfeed on a Road Trip: Breastfeeding in a Car on a Long Car Ride + More!

Are you still trying to figure out where to go in the US? Check out my guides on the best scenic drives in America, the best American small towns, and the best historic American cities. You can also check out the best East Coast lighthouses, the best West Coast lighthouses.

Finally, are you heading out in a camper van? Don’t forget to name it!

Pin this Guide to the Best Road Trip Tips for Your Travels!

Road Trip Tips

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