It was always on my bucket list to make cross country roadtrip. It was exciting at the same time it needs to be properly planned. I didn’t expect this trip to be planned during Covid pandemic ,so there are additional things ,which we really need to take care before you hit the road. We have planned the road trip because we don’t want to risk of infection during air travel. Roadtrip was not greatly supported by elders in my family since as per them this was still a risky thing to do and if you fall sick, it is difficult to take care of logistics in a remote city where you are fully familiar with places. We have followed CDC guidelines strictly for 6 months from March till August. Being in New York we finally felt we missed an entire summer because we really look forward a really nice summer after a long winter with lot of social gatherings.
To tell you frankly, how much you can stay in house and do the same thing. Get up do some exercise ,start your work for which there is no practical end since you are remote, then eat and sleep, go back to same routine again. You definitely need some change around you for your brain to function normally and get new ideas. Same thing with kids, screen time was increased a lot. You can’t ask them to go out and play also. All these things forced us to take the decision to take trip into nature and somehow Rocky mountain national park was the closest national park from Albany,NY with lot of things activities to do in nature. We came to realization that Colorado is a blessed by mother nature on earth. If you really want to spend your time with nature then this is the place. We will highly recommend it to everyone & we have decided that in future it will be our hop before we start exploring more west side states around Colorado. Trust me you will love this highway drive going through multiple states & you won’t regret or get tired while driving on this road this is in comparison to my another road trip, by the time I am writing this blog,I took another trip to South Carolina, which is half distance to cover but it was exhausting but that is topic for another blog.
Coming back to our original topic here are some of the facts the entire travel time is 28 hrs from door to door for me with close to 1900 miles, it was from Albany, NY to Silverthrone,Colorado. My route was I 90,I 80, I 76 & later I 70.
Here are some of the things which you should be taking care when you start your road trip, I did this road trip during Memorial day weekend just before school start, since I had opted for remote learning for my both kids. I have travelled with my two kids, which are 5 & 10 years old. They have motion sickness issue also. I have broken down this post in two parts, one is things to take care from Covid Perspective & Second things to take care during any family roadtrip.
Precautions For Covid
- Take plenty of Sanitizers & hand wash soap
Every trip to gas station or rest area should be followed by sanitization of hands with sanitizer. and shoes in the corner of the car for rest of the passenger.
2. Avoid any outside food and use only picnic areas for eating home made food or best is car
With kids make sure you are taking sufficient food & healthy snacking options , which kids enjoy. Purchase them or make them one day before the travel , so you can sanitize purchased food and avoid snacking at home for food made at home. Surprise kids with new snacking options.
3. Try to avoid the trips to restrooms
This is something very important and not avoidable but again take necessary precautions with both kids and yourself. Like touching door knobs, toilet seats, flushing urinals. I was lucky on this part my younger one don’t prefer the public restrooms unless it is absolute necessary.
4. Travel lite
Yes, I will suggest to do it keep plenty of space in the car if you decide to sleep in the car of give your back some rest. Have sufficient space for one person to sleep comfortably. In Dodge all the seats are foldable and you can nicely lay down twin bed and sleep on it.
5. Gas Station Precautions
I have purchased some of the plastic gloves like below & one winter skating glove in my driver side door pocket as a an additional glove.
6. Overnight Stays
In my case we both were drivers so we could switch as and when we were tired but long travels will need proper rest. Start marking on the way Airbnb places for overnight, which are empty before you arrive for two days. I marked multiple places after 800 miles. I was tracking them and just to make sure no one else stayed there right before me.
7. State Travel Guidelines
Please look for every state guidelines.
Things to Take Care For Normal Roadtrip
1. Take a spacious car- Minimum SUV but preferred Minivan
I had SUV as well as Sedan but I preferred rental car since it was long journey & we were looking for spacious travel. I took Dodge Caravan. Make sure you take this one day in advance for disinfecting and doing the entire setup. Make sure you setup bluetooth understand the car manual. Understand the power outlets.
Adjust the steering to your height where your elbows can rest properly. Make sure your back and seat has proper blood circulation by adding additional cushion. Give comfort most priority since it is not short distance to cover.
2. Take Plenty of water bottles & tap water filled container for washing hands
I took plenty of water to stay hydrated & an empty container with normal tap water to ONLY wash your hands, after eating food or after going to any rest areas. We preferred not to use too many rest area restrooms or any public restrooms. This is something you can’t avoid 100% but we tried to use use and throw gloves for opening doors.
3. Take home made food & something healthy snack
Daily new guidelines but you do your part of purchasing the snacks upfront and get it sanitized.
4. Entertainment ! Entertainment ! Entertainment !
This is a must with kids. We had enough movies downloaded from Netflix offline Download & Apple TV+. Here are some of the steps
- Open the Netflix app and select a TV show or movie. Not all titles are available for download.
- From the description page, tap Downloads .
- For TV shows, Downloads will appear next to each available episode.
- To save on data usage, download over Wi-Fi.
You can have up to 100 downloads at a time on as many devices on your membership plan.
We also had lot of collection of Disney movies downloaded. We made sure we had enough power banks for our laptop, phones.
Cigarette to normal power converters which will also give socket for your laptop.
Hotspots in case you have to work on the road & if you want a moving wireless then you can go for any of these options or you can use your phone data for temporary phone set.
Since this was Dodge, I did upfront bluetooth setup. This was not simple Bluetooth connectivity.
And lot of Audiobooks, which you can do offline download also.
5. GPS/Google Offline Maps
Cellphone coverage in certain areas will not be available and you definitely need additional map references in natural places then you can download the offline maps & download destination area offline maps in your phone. Lot of places in Colorado we did not find coverage from some of the leading carriers & this helped a lot.
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app .
- Make sure you’re connected to the internet and signed in to Google Maps.
- Search for a place, like San Francisco.
- At the bottom, tap the name or address of the place Download Download.
- On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Maps app .
- Make sure you’re connected to the Internet.
- Search for a place, like San Francisco .
- At the bottom, tap the name or address of the place tap More .
- Select Download offline map. Download.
6. Car Emergency Kit
Have emergency kit with below some of the items.
7. Travel Documents
- Valid License
- Insurance card
- Emergency Road Service Number
- Car Registration
- Passports -This is not absolutely necessary if you are travelling within country then you don’t have to worry. If you are travelling in border with another country and there is a chance that you can take a wrong exit then please carry it. We were travelling near Niagara area where there was one exit which will make you land in Canada.
8. Five hour energy Drink or a strong Coffee or Tea
Yes, If you are travelling on daytime or nighttime I will suggest to take it. This will keep you awake and avoid falling asleep behind the wheels especially when there is straight road for 100-200 miles. Safety is an important factor and you want this trip filled with good memories and lot of time. My problem is every time I go for any travel packing & planning don’t let me take rest comfortably before travel.
9. Extra Car Key
Always carry extra key in case you get locked out, if by mistake kids override auto key lock.
10. Most Important Leave All Your Worries & Be Mentally Prepared If Something Doesn’t Go As Planned.
All I can say is if you plan it properly you will have fun and kids will also enjoy it. End of the day you want to make this trip memorable for everyone and at the same time you also want to enjoy. At anytime you shouldn’t feel like physically as well as mentally exhausted, so do take care of every small detail.
Stay Tuned For My Upcoming Travel Blog To Colorado & Visit To Every Place
Day 1. Started Saturday 1 AM reached to Chicago in the afternoon
- Went to Indiana Dunes
Day 2. Sunday afternoon reached to Silverthorne , Colorado
In the evening went to Gore Mountain Trail
Day 3. Monday long weekend went to Blue Lakes explored places around it
Day 4. Tuesday Made an home made chocolate cake
Day 5. Wednesday Made an failed attempt to Lily Pad lakes,Dillon Reservoir lake,
Day 6. sept 10 -Wild watchin fox in near area
Day 7 Glewood Springs- Gypsum
1. Linewood Cemetry
2. Colorado River park=red rocks
3. Glenwood Hot water springs
Day 8 Rocky Mountain National Park West Side
- On the way to private beach
- Rocky Mountain Park-stopped on the way lakes
- Bird Watching
- Meadows hiking back to home
Day 9 Great Sand Dunes 13th
- Went on Sand Dunes
- Hiked near private hiking places
Day 10 Half Day off 14th
We went on Blue River to catch some fishes
Day 11 went on dillon preserve
Day 12 loveland pass
Day 13 Lily pad lake Me & Pranita
Day 14 Stayed at home homework
Day 15th Colorado Spring & Denver
- Garden Of Gods
- Open Space Red Rock Canyon
- Dinosaur Ridge
Day 16th Ricky Mountain East Side
1. Central City
2.Lily Lake Nedarland
5.NYph Lake Hiking
6. Trail Ridge Road
7. Alpine Visitor Center