Who doesn’t love a road trip? From the open road to the unplanned journey. From Humble diners, funny characters, creepy rest stops, grumpy truck drivers and a flat tire in between, some of the best memories can be made on a road trip.
But the thing that can make or break a road trip is planning. With a poorly designed road trip, you could end up with a flat tire and no spare or in the middle of nowhere because someone forgot to bring a map and you took a wrong turn.
But with careful planning and these seven great tips, you too can have the perfect road trip.
1. Make sure you service your car before you leave.
Take some time to give your car some love before you leave, including, making sure the oil is changed, check the spare tire, check the fluids, etc. Also, make sure you have proof of insurance and registration in case police stop you, and most importantly, make sure you have the right amount of comprehensive car insurance on your policy.
2. Decide on a destination
Are you planning to go for a 1-day road trip or a 7-day road trip? To maximize your time, you should have an itinerary ready and plan several stops along the way to allow yourself time to stretch your legs and see something new or do something exciting. It is also essential to think about your pets.
Make sure you are going to a destination that is pet-friendly. If you have pets, please do not leave your pets alone at home and make sure they’re boarded or they stay with a family member or friend. If you are thrifty, make sure you only take the highway, you get much better mileage on highways because you avoid all that stop-and-go you have in the city.
3. Make sure your electronic devices are charged and ready to entertain!
Driving can be fun, but it can also be nerve-wracking, especially if you’ve never driven in the specific place you are travelling. As such, you want to make sure that everyone except the driver has some entertainment so that they do not distract the driver from the task.
4. Make sure you have a substantial budget in mind and some emergency cash
When you’re travelling on the road or in a new place, it is often tempting or comfortable to spend more money than you thought you would. Especially when you’re hungry, and you don’t want to wait to eat something healthy, you might decide to buy some high amounts of junk food, etc. Yes, you are on holiday and deserve to have a treat, but you have to make sure that you have enough money for the rest of your trip and to buy souvenirs etc.
5. Pack only the essentials
If you have children, then you know that you have to bring everything and the kitchen sink to appease them but be strict and only pack the essentials that way you’ll have more room for any gifts they want to bring back or things they find along the way. It may interest you to know that lighter loads give better gas mileage.
6. Plan driving shifts
Driver fatigue is the leading cause of car accidents after drunk driving. As such, you should have a roster planned to share the driving and avoid driver fatigue. Now you might have someone in the family who’s a dominant driver, but you’ll have to put your foot down and insist that the driving be shared especially on a long trip such as the gold rush rally.
7. Check your health insurance coverage
You should check your health insurance coverage before you leave on your trip, especially if you are going out of state. Many policies will not cover you out of state, or if they do, you may as well not have insurance for as much as the insurance company is willing to pay.
Also, if you have any sick or elderly members of the family, make sure that all their medication is packed and if the medication has to be refrigerated make sure you bring an ice chest and adequate ice. You can buy packs of ice that do not melt or dry ice. Consider packing a first aid kit, and a needle disposal box for anyone who is insulin-dependent.
With careful planning and the right itinerary, you can have the perfect road trip with your family and make long-lasting memories of the open road, but with poor planning, you may find that you never want to go on a road trip ever again. Don’t let poor planning ruin your time away and lastly, don’t forget the camera!