How to road trip while remaining vigilant during coronavirus

AAA reveals what you need to pack and free resources to stay on top of COVID-19 guidelines

AAA has a tool that could help your road trip go off without a hitch

ROANOKE, Va. – Labor Day Weekend is known as the last blast before summer ends, but like most traditions in 2020, this year will not look the same.

AAA says this pandemic is making it hard for them to even gauge how many people will travel this weekend, but looking at the summer travel trends spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic Morgan Dean said they do know people won’t be going far.

Instead of taking long trips, more people may stay within their state. For Southwest Virginia, that may mean going to Virginia Beach or Smith Mountain Lake.

With so much changing Dean said a lot of times people won’t decide they’re traveling until last minute, but if they do, they probably won’t be flying.

If you decide to go on a road trip, AAA has an online feature called TripTik to make your trip during a pandemic less of a headache.

“That could help you plan your trip and what it will do is show you the COVID-19 restrictions along your route so no matter which way you’re going you can kind of see what you’re facing along the route. If some areas have more restrictions than others, it’ll show you that and give you a good heads up before you drive through that region,” said Dean.

Road trip essentials usually consist of a map, great snacks and some good music but this year you may want to revamp that list.

AAA recommends packing your mask, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes even empty sandwich bags.

The sandwich bags help limit contact. AAA suggests before you fill your gas tank, put your hand in one of those sandwich bags then pump your gas. Before you leave the pump, throw the bag away.

AAA also mentions gas prices are the cheapest they’ve been in years, prices may have increased a little bit due to Hurricane Laura but you’ll still be able to snag a deal.

“Just taking a look at Roanoke numbers, we’re at $2.08 today (September 3, 2020) up two cents from just a week ago down 24 cents from what we were paying Labor Day last year so drivers are still seeing a good discount compared to what they were paying last year,” Dean said.

Below is a look at the differences in gas prices in our region according to AAA Mid-Atlantic region.

Roanoke Gas Prices as of September 3, 2020-$2.08

  • Up 2 cents from a week ago
  • Up 13 cents from a month ago
  • Down 24 cents over a year ago.

Labor Day Prices for Roanoke Metro for past 5 years

  • 2019 $2.32
  • 2018 $2.54
  • 2017 $2.48
  • 2016 $2.02
  • 2015 $2.04

Lynchburg Gas Prices as of September 3, 2020-$2.05

  • Up 2 cents in a week
  • Up 13 Cents from over a month ago
  • Down 20 Cents from a year ago

New River Valley(Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford)as of September 3, 2020- $2.09

  • No change from a week ago
  • Up 14 cents from a month ago
  • Down 25 cents from a year ago

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.