There’s nothing like the freedom of the open road to a driver. Road trips are the best way to get a good view of the countryside, and generally a more entertaining way for a car ride. There could be a variety of reasons for your decision to take a trip – visit family members, explore new spots and the like.
Taking time off and hitting the highway to explore enriches your character and deepens your soul.
Whatever your reason for taking a road trip, we’ve got some valuable and practical advice for you to prepare, more than just packing. It’s important that you see your road trip not just as an adventure but also as a responsibility.
Plan your trip
The main idea is to know where you’re going, what are the places that you plan to visit along the way, and a rough idea of the time of arrival. Make sure that you check the distances between places. While some of them may seem close on the map, they could be hundreds of kilometers apart- an easy mistake to make! You need to think about how long you can drive on a daily basis. While installing a GPS into your car is the best idea, you should also have a map with you, just in case, because GPS systems are still not perfect. Also, check what the weather is going to be like for the next couple of days. You don’t want to head out to a beach town only to find it pouring throughout the weekend.
Next, to your luggage, it’s essential to have extra supplies with you. This includes things such as extra bottles of water, flashlights, and extra jackets in case you are traveling during a cold season. Having a first aid kit at all times is a must, no matter how long your trip is going to be.
You should also make sure that you charge your devices before you leave, even if you’ve got car chargers. When traveling through areas where coverage isn’t good, your phone will constantly look for the signal and drain the battery faster.
It’s also a good idea to bring some snacks and coffee along with you, to keep yourself satiated and awake during the long drive. If you don’t drink coffee, think of something else that will help you stay awake, and make sure that you get a good night’s sleep before the trip.
It’s true you can find cheap lodging along the way. But while it is fun to drive around and then just pick a hotel to spend the night, finding quality and cheap lodging is most often pretty hard if you don’t plan ahead. It might also happen that you get stuck driving quite farther than you thought because you can’t find a place to stay. Or, it might happen that the hotel you find is far from a place you want to stay in. Therefore, it might be a great idea to make some reservations before heading out. This is especially the case if you’re going camping because popular campgrounds tend to fill up a long time in advance.
Have your car checked
It is extremely important that you have your car checked at a certified auto service center before you head out. You need to have any services that are necessarily performed before the trip, such as tune-ups and oil replacements. It is vital that your brakes work properly, especially if the route you will be taking includes twisting roads and hills. Furthermore, your tires need to have enough traction, not only for a smooth ride but also to make sure that you have enough stopping power to avoid an accident. Keeping your car in top shape makes sure that it stays reliable for the long drives that you are about to take.
Bring money and a credit card
You need to be prepared for stops where eating or staying can be paid in cash only. If your road trip includes somewhat remote areas, it means that there will be very little ATMs around, which makes the necessity to bring money along with you even bigger. As for credit cards, it’s a good idea to have them with you in case that you end up needing an unexpected car repair. You simply need to be prepared for any emergency purchases that might happen.
Take your owner’s manual with you
It’s common for road trips to end up requiring that you use accessories and components that you don’t think about on a regular basis. So, if you don’t know things such as where the fluid reservoir is or how to turn the hazard lights on. It is the best idea that you have your owner’s manual as a reference.
In the end, the most important thing that you have to keep in mind is the safety of everyone in the vehicle. No destination is important enough that you risk your own life and the lives of others traveling with you. Avoid answering texts or phone calls, and especially speeding.