PRAIRIE GIRL GOES COASTAL: TEN TIPS FOR TRAVELLING SAFELY DURING A PANDEMIC

In my last blog (click here to read it), we saw the fulfilment of God’s promise to go and “take the land” with a virtually stress- and barrier-free house purchase. 

Travelling during a pandemic is not for the faint of heart. After much prayer and consideration, we decided to drive across Canada rather than fly. 

That meant we had to cross through four provinces, two of which (Ontario, Quebec) had the largest numbers of COVID cases—and were the largest geographically. The entire journey, travelling six or seven hours per day, would take us seven full days. 

A year ago, the Lord gave me a Scripture for 2020. Although I was initially drawn to the Scripture because of my desire to move to the east coast—and long before COVID-19 was unleashed in the world—it proved to give us an extra assurance while driving across Canada in the midst of a pandemic.

 

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9  

 

This Scripture was a comfort and a guiding light throughout our journey. We put our trust in the Lord that He would be with us wherever we went. 

Other places in His Word encouraged and assured us as well. When I expressed my worries about being exposed to COVID during our travels, my husband reminded me of Psalm 91:3-4. I proclaimed it as a prayer of protection over us before we left: 

 

“Surely He will save (us)…from the deadly pestilence. He will cover (us) with His feathers and under His wings (we) will find refuge; His faithfulness will be (our) shield and rampart.” 

 

In addition to prayer, there were some practical measures we took to minimize our risk of contracting COVID during the trip. Things were a little more complicated than just two adults travelling: our son was with us as well as our two-year-old puppy. 

1. Where possible, I booked major hotel chains that had clear procedures and policies in place to keep travellers safe. I avoided large centres and chose locations that were on the outskirts of smaller city/towns.

2. Where possible, I booked rooms on the ground floor, especially those that had direct entrances from the parking lot to the room. This allowed us to avoid having to walk through common areas for our puppy’s bathroom breaks.

3. Where possible, I booked rooms that had a kitchenette so we wouldn’t have to order out food.

4. I wiped down all high-touch areas down in the SUV we rented with disinfectant in advance of our trip. Lysol wipes made this very easy.

5. I did the same for every hotel room we stayed in; I went into each hotel room in advance of my family to wipe down all high-touch areas, including light switches, toilet/shower/door handles, all countertops and desktops, arms of couches, and anywhere else I deemed appropriate, using our Lysol wipes.

6. We brought along our own pillows.

7.  I shopped for most of our meals at grocery stores, with a plan/menu in place in advance so I didn’t waste time browsing. I always wore a mask, even in those places where it wasn’t mandatory.

8. We brought along our own disposable plates and utensils, along with hand sanitizer. We also brought along all the non-perishables we would need (food, personal hygiene, etc.) to minimize the number of trips to a grocery store as well as the length of time in the store. We brought enough changes of clothes for the entire time we were travelling so we didn’t need to use local laundry facilities.

9. We did our best to minimize bathroom breaks along the way, choosing clean, well maintained public places such as gas stations and coffee shops that were out of the way and subsequently less busy.

10. We chose to minimize our stops to visit family and/or photograph tourist attractions. Instead, we ploughed right through. 

Some people might think my precautions were excessive. But the last thing I wanted was for any of us to get ill while in transit.

Click here to read the next instalment of "Prairie Girl Goes Coastal."

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