Traditionally, Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer travel season across the U.S. According to a recent news story from WABI, AAA says upwards of 43 Million people took the the roads last year. But this year will likely be very different, for many reasons.

The biggest reason that numbers will probably be down this year; Covid-19. Some states are still under stay-at-home orders, others, like Maine, have lightened restrictions a little within the state, but are requiring a 14 day quarantine for folks from away. If you can actually find a destination where something is open, and there's a place to stay, would you feel comfortable enough to venture out?

While not everyone is planning to stay put, if you are putting together a little road trip, you may want to consider a few things...

For instance, when's the last time you had your car serviced? For many, their cars have been sitting close to idle for the past few months. I'm still running on the same tank of gas I put in my vehicle in April! That's how infrequently I've been out. So you may want to give your car the once-over to make sure nothing's come up that you're not aware of.

Then there's the issue of bathroom breaks. (I have 4 kids, this is always something we have to be aware of.) If you're going to be spending an extended period of time driving, the usual spots with facilities that you've stopped at in the past, may not be open, or may not have their rest rooms available to the public at the moment. That's something you definitely need to consider, especially when traveling with little ones.

And while we're on the subject, you'll need to remember enough gloves, hand sanitizer and masks for everyone to move about safely when in public. I've only taken my two eldest kids out with me, for doctors visits. I know my two youngest well enough to understand trying to keep them from touching everything in sight, and to stay out of people's personal space, would give them and myself enough anxiety to keep the trip from being fun. Maybe you're in the same boat?

And since so many of us have been staying home, our driving skills might be a little rusty. I know the first time I ventured out to the bank, after being home for almost a month, it was weird. I felt out of practice and a little distracted.

It feels like everything is unknown right now and it's hard to keep things straight because they're changing all the time. A lot of people have a lot of things on their minds at the moment, driving is not always front and center, even when they're behind the wheel.

It will be interesting to see just how many folks decided to head out for the holiday weekend this year. My guess is that those with camps, will head to camp--and keep to themselves. Others might meet up around a friend's fire pit (but no fires this weekend, as the danger is high--but that's another story). And a few of us may say "screw it" and run for anywhere but where they've been for the last few weeks.

Whatever this Memorial Day has in store for you, please be safe, and kind, and mindful. The world is a different place then when we last got together. Let's let's do our best to be as patient and prepared as we can be, while still trying to have a good time!

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