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Planning a road trip this summer? Here's how to stay safe from the virus

With low gas prices, and fewer people flying, it will likely be a big summer for road trips. Here's how to stay safe out on the road.

MINNESOTA, USA — With low gas prices, and fewer people flying, it will likely be a big summer for road trips.

The great American road trip is a time honored tradition, but this year you'll have to keep your eyes on more than just the road.

Hennepin Healthcare Trauma Prevention Specialist Julie Philbrook says planning your road trip ahead of time is more important than ever.

Many hotels are still shut down and the ones that are open will likely have reduced capacity.

“It will be important to have a reservation and even to call a day or two ahead of time to see if the hotel is still open, because they could have an outbreak and be shut down without you knowing it,” Philbrook says.

Travelers should also be aware of what they touch.

Besides door handles and rest rooms, Philbrook says ice machines and elevator buttons are also things to be aware of while staying in hotels.

“If someone is already on the elevator I would wait until the next one comes around,” Philbrook says.

If you're driving through other states, you should also make sure you know the local rules and regulations because they can vary from state to state

"And even city by city. Minneapolis is saying you have to wear masks whenever you go inside, but other cities even in our metro don't require that," Philbrook says.

Some other helpful traveling tips include packing a cooler with food and water so you don’t have to go into as many restaurants and convenience stores during your trip.

You can also pack a pair of gloves or a plastic grocery bag to protect your hand when you use the gas gump.

Philbrook says it’s also a good idea for parents of young children to have at least one other adult along for the ride.

"What if within 24 hours I develop symptoms and end up having to go to the emergency department and there's my child alone without any supervision,” Philbrook says.

If you're staying in Minnesota, the DNR says most of the parks, trails and campgrounds are now open.

However, the DNR says most of the bathrooms are shut down due to the virus.

So, if you're spending the night at a camp site, prepare for a more “rugged” experience.

The DNR says camp sites are filling up fast this summer.

Single camping sites are now open to the public, but the DNR says group camping sites won’t be open until July 15th.

Due to COVID-19, reservations are required.

If you’d like to make a reservation, or would like to see what camp sites are currently available, click here to use the DNR’s reservation tool.

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