‘Spread gratitude, not germs,’ How to travel safely during the next few weeks of holiday trips

Central Illinois Newsday

WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — If you must travel over the coming weeks, a local travel agent says to allow plenty of extra time for your trips and don’t forget the essentials: MASKS.

On Thursday, Jennifer Walker, owner of Jennifer Walker Travel out of Washington, said it’s imperative to check credible websites for COVID-19 restriction information.

“If you’re looking for state-by-state restrictions one of the best websites I’ve found is the travel.aaa.com,” said Walker. “It has an interactive map and if you look below the map, you’ll see each state identified, any dine-in restrictions, any quarantine restrictions.”

“[Traveling] is different,” said Walker. “It’s still possible to do it safely, but you really have to do your part so that we can all get there and see our family and loved ones. Spread the gratitude not the germs this year.”

Tips for traveling by car

  • Check the weather forecast
  • Check your car’s tire pressure (and the spare tire’s pressure), fluids, wiper blades to make certain you’re ready to roll
  • Aging car?  Take a set of tools with you for minor roadside repairs
  • Pack an emergency kit in case you’re stranded along the road
  • Limit the number of stops along the way – try to avoid stopping in high-trafficked areas, such as restaurants and gas station Quick-E-Marts
  • If you leave the vehicle, such as to stop at a restroom, wear a mask while in public around other people and sanitize your hands before handling your car keys/key fob, touch the car’s door handles, or touch anything inside the car – the last thing you want to do is bring COVID-19 germs inside the vehicle with you
  • Bring your own food and drinks – remember that access to restaurants may be limited, depending on which state you’re traveling through
  • Know where restrooms will be available along your route, such as the location of open rest areas along the highway (visit the State’s Department of Transportation website for updates)
  • Avoid carpooling with anyone you have not been in close contact with over the past few weeks
  • Keep a window cracked to allow fresh air to circulate within the car, rather than re-circulating stale air
  • Flu shots are recommended prior to travel

More about Jennifer Walker Travel

She is a Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE) and Verified Travel Advisor (VTA) with strong working relationships with select, preferred travel suppliers.  Her focus is on international travel–especially to those Bucket List destinations you’ve always dreamed of experiencing.  

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