Planning a road trip anytime soon? Do you find yourself looking for a change of scenery or maybe something a little less mundane than you are used to? Going on a road trip might be that fantastical adventure you’ve been looking for. Whether you’re looking to travel the desert routes of Southwestern America or looking towards that trip that lets you take in all the scenery and culture of famous European cities. Road trips are a sure way to explore new places while creating lasting and worthwhile memories.
Nothing quite beats a scenic road trip, but choosing to travel by road over other means of transport requires just that little bit of extra planning. From packing your car, picking a destination to selecting a suitable route to arrive at your destination, the prepping process can be endless.
Here we give you an extensive guide to the essentials of planning your first road trip.
Car trouble is the last, I repeat, the last thing you want when on a road trip. Before embarking on your journey, take your car to the mechanic for any necessary repairs, be sure to check that all vehicle fluids, oils, and filters are in tip-top shape. Ensure your brakes, headlights, and wiper blades are functioning well before hitting the road.
Ensure you check your maps for gas stations along your route. Yes, you are environment conscious; you want to reduce your carbon footprint on our ecosystem. This is all beautiful, and I believe everybody should too. But that your electric car might just not be the ideal vehicle to take on a road trip.
Depending on your route, you will be traveling on long stretches of highways and back roads; you don’t want to be caught in the middle of nowhere because of a low car battery. If your car run on a diesel engine, you have to be especially informed of the gas stations along the way, as not all gas stations offer diesel fuel. Keeping a backup gallon or fuel just in case might come in handy.
Indulge all you want; you’ve earned it; after all, saving that money you will otherwise be paying for a plane or train ticket. But splurge wisely; estimate the expense of your trip, taking into account essentials like lodging, toll fees, food, and of course, gas.
You know your destination. Now it’s left to determine the scenery and hotspots you would like to see and experience along the way. An ideal road trip could use a companion.
Get a map, spend some time with your travel companions and decide on the most suitable routes and stops along your way. You can try making use of a travel guide that will help you plan out the best sights to see.
Be realistic about how much distance you and your companions can cover safely while driving. Squeezing an 18-hour trip into a 24-hour day is not an idea you should entertain on your first trip on the road.
Unless you plan on staying on the road all day and all night long, which we already discussed is not a great idea, it would be helpful to choose your stops ahead of time.
Check out the hotels, motels, and inns that operate along your route and make reservations ahead. These stops can help you replenish your supplies such as gas, drinks, food, and other amenities.
A weather forecast check is a must before you venture on your journey. You might want to bring along with you some season-specific items.
For a winter trip, a couple of extra blankets, a windshield de-icer, an ice scraper, and a small shovel in the event of a snowstorm are just a couple of essentials.
Is it a warm summer? A battery-powered fan and a cooler of ice packs might come in handy. And know you know to definitely get that car AC fixed.
Going totally off the grid when you travel might sound like a fun idea, but for you own safety, it would be best to keep a home-based contact in the loop. Someone you can regularly call to update them on your current location and also where you are lodging in between stops.
Of course, you have your car’s navigation system, and if that doesn’t work, you’ve got your phone’s GPS; they are real maps. But What happens when you lose your way in an area with no cell or Internet service? By a real map, I mean get yourself a paper map of the route you are traveling along; you can get an Atlas if possible.
When planning a road trip to another country, you will need to determine whether the laws of the area allow you or if you will be needed to present an international driver’s license when asked.
The world we live in today is cashless. Credit and debit cards are great, but you don’t want to be left hanging when you get to that tollbooth that doesn’t take credit cards (they do exist). Perhaps you see a local vendor selling travel souvenirs you appreciate and would like to collect; cash is king in this regard.
Boredom can set in like wildfire when on a road trip. The hours are long, and driving requires a lot of your focus. A sure way to keep up the tempo is to keep yourself entertained.
You could play a couple of popular traveling games with your travel companions; if you are like me and all you need is good music or an informative podcast while driving, be sure to download offline on your streaming service. Again, a lack of cell service might just come to haunt you when you need it the most.
What’s the point of going on a road trip if you can’t be spontaneous? Taking short and quick stops to explore and have fun will make your journey all the more memorable. Be mindful of time constraints, though; an hour or two of fun time gives you just enough time to stretch your legs, feed your eyes and get back on the road.
You’ve done your research, you’ve put in the work and time, and now you know exactly how to begin planning your cross-country road trip. Remember, the ultimate goal of a road trip is to keep adventurous, experience new things, and most importantly, have some fun. Good luck. Bon Voyage.
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