Before the pandemic, planning a road trip was the easiest and the most exciting thing you could do. Every Indian city is geographically-blessed — it is connected to many picturesque town and smaller cities. You could just rent a car, or a two-wheeler, or take your own to enjoy a quick weekend getaway, away from the monotony of the city life.
But the pandemic and its subsequent restrictions made travelling difficult for the longest time. The lockdown had people confined to their houses. While the situation is slowly changing and restrictions on domestic travel have eased out a bit, people are still a bit sceptical about stepping out safely and enjoying a short trip.
But, there is nothing to be worried about, as long as you are thoroughly prepared and have taken all necessary precautions to make your journey memorable.
Joe Abilash, a Chennai-based photographer and an avid motorcycle enthusiast who has taken a number of expeditions around the country on his Royal Enfield, feels that road trips are the best stress-busters. Here, he answers some FAQs for indianexpress.com. Read on.
Tell us about the basic things we need to keep in mind while planning a road trip.
Planning a road trip in the current pandemic poses considerable risks and hence requires mindful preparations. For starters, one needs to be aware of the protocols followed by different states and their respective entry restrictions. It is important to be compliant and to secure valid E-passes and quarantine measures upon return. Picking the right destination is half the job done. So, it is really important to stay informed of such vital details. Once this is taken care of, the other things to be mindful are stocking up on sanitization tools, medications, safe home-cooked food, safety gears, carrying sufficient tools and extra fuel, a power bank, etc.
What are some basic dos and don’ts that can ensure safety for the travellers?
Since fever screening guidelines vary from state-to-state, riders who have long-term health issues or those with ongoing medical care should restrict planning for a road trip during this pandemic. People who have normal symptoms such as fever, or cough will also be advised to quarantine. So a road trip should be limited to certain circumstances. Also, ensure the hygiene factor of public restrooms that you may use during stops, and if staying over at a hotel, ensure safety accommodation processes are in place. Take your own bed sheets and pillow covers if required, just as a precaution.
What are some must-haves in your travel bag?
Until a vaccine is developed, there is always a risk of Covid infections. Thus, the essential steps that I would suggest to prepare for a road trip are:
• Masks, sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, disposable gloves, face shield, helmets, disposable bags, riding gears. These should be the foremost things you should pack while loading your bags.
• Explore destinations with fewer crowd.
• Plan your pit-stops and ensure you take the proper safety precautions when you enter them.
• Pack as much home-cooked food and water as you can, to avoid buying it from shops.
• If you need to stay overnight, choose remote rentals with best safety practices.
Any other essential tip that travellers need to know before hitting the road?
Be cautious throughout your trip, instead of getting overwhelmed by any situation. Most places depend only on tourists, and hence as a motorcycle tourist, one must be responsible and not risk the safety of the local residents who may not always have access to proper healthcare facilities. Your carelessness can also affect others safety. Let’s show our togetherness in this situation and care for other lives, too. Stay safe and hygienic.