Take That PTO: Tips for Safe Road Trip Travel During a Pandemic


There is no doubt that the pandemic has gone on longer than any of us imaged and it looks like this current reality is here to stay for a while. I know my mental health has been suffering being stuck at home and dealing with this isolated norm. After much thought we decided to take some paid time off and go on a short getaway to the beach. As someone who is higher risk and extra anxious, I wanted to share what helped us travel safely and still have an amazing trip.

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Tips for Safe (Road) Travel During the Pandemic

  1. Travel during the week : not only is is usually less crowded but places may be cheaper. We went Monday - Thursday and since we went the week that schools started back (virtually) we were able to stay socially distance most of the trip
  2. Look for a private rental: We wanted to avoid shared spaces as much as possible so we rented a condo from @airbnb and double checked their COVID cleaning procedures. We also had our own cleaning supplies on hand.
  3. Stick to less touristy locations for your travel: I heard how packed the more touristy beaches have been but N. Topsail Beach was PERFECT. We had plenty of room on the beach away from others and barely came in contact with anyone around the condo building. If you are somewhere with more people time your beach outing around when it's less crowded. ⁠
  4. Buy or Bring Groceries: We bought groceries and cooked at home for most meals. We also brought Mason's food and some of our speciality items from home. This allowed us to control exposure and cook/eat around our schedule. For two meals we did get take out but the food was subpar. On the way out of town (in Surf City) we ate at The Crab Pot outside and had the entire patio to ourselves which was a lovely experience⁠.
  5. Focus on what you can control: Throughout the smaller towns in E. North Carolina many employees and patrons were not wearing masks or taking things seriously, so we focused on our own mask etiquette, frequent hand washing, lots of hand sanitizer and only one of us went inside when we had to. We also made an effort to avoid cash and limit any contact during transactions. ⁠
  6. Focus on outside entertainment during your travel: This was easy at the ocean. We mostly stuck to the beach and condo aside from one ice cream outing, takeout, gas and one grocery store trip, which allowed us to have mask-free fun outdoors and safely away from other people. Having a porch on the condo right on the water was another great way to enjoy the setting safely


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Have you taken any PTO or traveled during the pandemic? If so, what safe travel tips can you share? For those interested in renting an Airbnb, you can use this link to get $65 OFF your first stay. Here is the place we stayed. It wasn't anything special but it was right on the water which was all we cared about.


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