This post is written in partnership with Safeguard19. All opinions and experiences are my own.
With more parents across the US hitting the road this summer instead of flying to their summer destinations, many are wondering how to safely road trip with their kids amidst the COVID pandemic.
In this post, I will share with you what you’ll need in terms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep yourself and your family safe this summer.
As restrictions ease up, many of us are coming out of quarantine to spend time with family members, like grandparents; even though the CDC recommends limiting all non-essential travel.
If you’re considering a road trip, to limit exposure, it’s important to remember that car travel involves both unplanned and scheduled stops where oftentimes, you just don’t know what to expect – like impromptu ice cream stops and another pee break.
Recently, I took a 22-hour drive from New Orleans, LA to Tucson, AZ with my 3 kids to visit my parents for a few weeks. You probably just thought to yourself: I don’t know my kids could hang that long in a car! Don’t worry, I had the same thoughts.
Safe Travel Kits
Traveling with kids during a pandemic isn’t as simple as packing and loading up bags in the car, throwing a few drinks and snacks in a cooler and saying…. “let’s go!”
Truth be told, the easiest way to travel safely is to plan ahead by preparing a safe travel kit that includes:
- Disposable Masks
- Higher Protection KN95 Masks
- Sigle-Use Disposable Gloves
- Hand Sanitizing Gel
- Multi-Purpose Hand & Surface Cleanser Spray
- Family Medications
- Facial Tissues
Do you need a mask to travel by car?
When in the car, none of us wear a mask – obviously. However, long drives will require fuel stops and bathroom breaks at a minimum.
So yes, you definitely need to have masks when traveling by car. You’ll more than likely stop at a rest stop, gas station, and food/restaurant where you’ll be around people you don’t know.
What type of mask is best for travel?
When traveling, disposable masks are a must. Masks are meant for one-time use since all environments are not the same.
When I planned my trip and looked at my mask options on Safeguard19’s website, I noticed there were several types of masks available.
For travel, I recommend having everyday disposable masks, called “civilian masks” and one pack of KN95 4-ply masks.
You’ll use the “civilian masks” for quick stops, like restrooms and the stronger filtering option, the KN95 Mask for longer trips where you need extra protection.
How many masks do you need per person?
The number of masks needed per person will vary depending on how long your trip is. Plan on having 1 disposable “civilian” mask per planned stop, and a couple “extras” for just-in-case and unplanned stops.
Hand Sanitizer vs. Hand Spray
Kids touch everything and in an ideal world, they’d wash their hands repeatedly after touching different surfaces, but we all know that’s not the case. And, even after they wash their hands after using a public restroom, they are bound to touch something else!
Hand sanitizers, like Safeguard19’s Sanitizing Gel, sterilizes in just 15 seconds, is made with 70% alcohol and dries nearly instantly; which with kids is a huge plus! I keep this one in the car so we can easily pump after we get in.
I also love a Hand and Surface Spray like this one, which is an anti-microbial hand and multi-purpose surface liquid cleanser with 70% alcohol base that leaves no residue on hands and surfaces inside a hotel room, for example.
Do I need Disposable Gloves?
Absolutely. You’ll most definitely pump gas, touch atm surfaces, and grocery stores! A box of non-latex single-use disposable gloves is essential to have in the car.
Other Tips to Travel Safely
There are a few other things you can do to limit your exposure while traveling with your family. Some tips include:
- Multi-purpose stops: in a single stop, try to get as many things done as possible such as refuel, make a bathroom stop, and purchase any food or snacks needed.
- Pack your own food and snacks.
- Pack games and entertainment, you’ll be less likely to make impromptu stops.
- Bring first-aid medications such as fever reducers, allergy medicines, and a thermometer with you so you can assess any minor “not feeling well” at your destination without having to go out and visit a pharmacy –some items, like thermometers, are nearly impossible to find so bringing one with you is your best bet!
In the end, the more prepared you are the safer you’ll be on the road.