If you have the ability to drive, then you’re really doing yourself a disservice by not going out on a road trip every now and then. With the right company and the right planning, it can be one of the most fun kinds of breaks you can take. Making your own story on the road as you go and really exploring. But without the right planning, it can be an unmitigated disaster. So here’s everything you should be considering on the road.
Road trips are all about exploring. But doing that without any preparation at all is a good way to get yourself lost or in the middle of nowhere with nothing to be seen. Plan a route that plenty of stops and plenty of things to see. If you find a path worth exploring, then take it. Just make sure you can always get back to that route. Otherwise, you’re bound to be in for some complaints of boredom, hunger or not knowing where you’re going. Apps like Roadtrippers are great for planning out your route.
Is the car itself best for taking out on a road trip? A lot of people prefer not taking their own car, for example. A rental eliminates most of the stress of how a trip might be bad for the car. It’s cheaper and it does give the trip a bit more novelty for the driver. Of course, there are those who prepare for a road trip by getting themselves an RV or any other kind of specialist vehicle. Whatever you’re driving out there, make sure it has plenty of room for all your people and your stuff.
Whatever car you take, even if it’s a rental, there’s some preparation you need to do. Some checks to make sure the car can take the trip. Things like checking your battery to make sure it’s charged. Ensuring that your tires and good, pressure wise. Making sure that you’re packed smart and that the load capacity won’t make the drive all the harder. If it is your own car you’re taking, it’s a good idea to take it in for a maintenance check. You can’t completely eliminate the possibility of breaking down out there, but you can make your chances better.
The stuff you definitely need
As we’ve said, you can’t completely get rid of the possibility of getting stranded. That’s why you need to be prepared for the event that your car dies on you. Emergency kits should be part of any car owner’s inventory, but they’re even more important for road trips. First, you need safety equipment. You need to make sure you’re seen at the side of the road. High visibility jackets and markers to place around the car are a good idea. Food, blankets and water kept spare can make your stay a bit more comfortable, too. Perhaps the most important part of the car kit is a fully charged phone kept switched off. That way, even if everyone’s battery is dead, you have lines of communication.
The route you planned should have plenty to see. However, it’s most likely that there’s going to be a good deal of boring road, too. Entertainment is a team effort on road trips. There should be someone prepared with music and apps to keep you entertained as you drive. You can also make a few games out of the trip. One that’s guaranteed to give some entertainment is collecting gas station and sightseeing memorabilia. Going for the most garish or cheap looking items will heat the competition. Trivia games with little prizes, like getting your next meal bought for you, can get pretty tense, too.
Some of the best bits of a road trip are the memories you take back with you. So make sure you have means of capturing them. It might be a disposable little camera or even a mini-travel diary/scrapbook. You can even check this excellent roundup on some dash cameras you can get. Not only great for recording the trip, but as a safety measure, too.
It might seem like you need a lot of preparation, but it’s all worth it. Make sure your car is good to go and you got everything you need for a potential crisis. Make sure you have plenty of entertaining as you go. Make sure you actually capture some memories from the trip as well. Keep all these in mind and you’ll have a trip to hold on to for years ahead.