1 February, 2021
The one thing that most people are missing badly during the Covid pandemic is the travel. Since March last year, holidays have been spent mostly cooped up at home. For the past couple of months of unlocking, the younger crowd has started travelling and are open to even travelling abroad for holidays. However, travel is still a dicey situation with the risk involved for seniors. A few seniors are travelling when it is essential, and most are following the complete advisory issued by the government and the airlines while travelling. It still involves an amount of risk, though; a few have travelled in their own vehicles to other towns and states. That is much safer than air travel or any other public transport.
But, when the four walls of your house feel too suffocating, you can always take a road trip. It could be a day trip or even a half-day trip to some interesting places on the city's outskirts. Most cities have some beautiful lung spaces, mountains, forests, etc., at a couple of hours drive from the city. You need to find out these spaces and plan the trip with caution.
Identify the spots
A simple Google search can tell you how many picnic spots are there around your city. You could also ask around in your family and friend circles for inputs. There are regular road trippers who happily give out such information; many even blog or vlog about such places with all inputs. You could collect information and plan where you need to go. Ideally, it is best to avoid weekend travels to such places, as usually they may be crowded.
The next thing is to plan for the trip, alone or with a few like-minded friends; you could join and travel in one or two cars. What is important is to know what is available there, including restrooms, etc. Since using public restrooms may be an issue, ladies may consider using adult diapers as an option to stay safe. It is best to avoid any outside food and carry home-cooked food for the picnic. If there is more than one family, you could consider a potluck food menu. It is also a good idea to start early in the day and get back home as early as possible. This will help you avoid any crowd found at the spot. Once you have fixed the date, please inform concerned people about your plan, so they know where you are.
Carry enough drinking water, cutlery, tissues, any other beverages you need like tea or coffee for the road, fruits, snacks and so on. Carry an old bed sheet to spread and sit if you intend a picnic. Please wear comfortable clothes suitable for the weather in the area, and it is best to wear shoes to keep your feet safe.
Ensure that you carry all your regular medicines for the day, and carry some extra, just in case. Ensure that you have a first-aid box in the car that is useful. Many times, we presume it is there and forget to check it, especially for the expiry dates of Dettol, plasters, etc. This may be needed for any untoward incidents like cuts, falls, and bruises. Also upgrade the box to include tablets for travel sickness, diarrhoea, giddiness, fever, etc. Please also include vomiting bags or plastic covers for such emergencies.
Especially, if you haven’t used the vehicle or serviced it during the past year of the pandemic, it is important to get the vehicle checked or serviced. You don’t really want to be stranded somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Ensure it is in a proper working condition, check the air, make sure to keep the extra tyre in the boot. Keep the vehicle towing/ service number also handy, just in case. Also, ensure that the FASTag is recharged, in case you are travelling on any Toll roads as that is a must as most toll plazas have become automatic.
It is important to follow the Covid-19 protocols during the travel and wear the mask properly, even when travelling in the car. Carry one or two extra masks and one or two small bottles of sanitiser with you. Carry a soap/ small bottle of liquid soap as well, to wash your hands if required. Please maintain the social distancing at the place and not shake hands with people or interact with unnecessary people.
Of course, you could also choose to just have a drive around, without stepping out at all, if that is what you would like. Some change in the scenery can also help alleviate the anxiety that keeps building up after being cooped up at home for so long. One or two trips like this, taken with care can refresh and recharge you greatly. We still have a long way to go before the Covid-19 is fully removed from our lives.
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