Setting off on a road trip can be very daunting, but this is the new reality for many. Some are traveling to attend a funeral, and others are on their way to the beach. Whether you are traveling for business or leisure, I have tips for making your trip a success.
1. Plan Your Route
It is important to map out and plan the route that you would like to take. There will be many routes to reach your final destination, and it is essential to know which direction you would like to take. It is also imperative to make sure that you have a backup plan. What if a street on your route is closed or has a detour? Do you have a plan B or an alternate route? This has happened to me before, but I had a plan b that came in very hand.
2. Plan For The Unexpected
There will most likely be delays. It is important to schedule enough time for any delays that you may experience. Most cities have construction areas or roadblocks. Another thing to consider is rush hour traffic. You will need to plan to make sure that you reach your destination on time.
3. Change For Tolls
Save yourself the heartache, and make sure that you bring enough change so that you have enough money to cover toll areas. It is cheaper to either have a pass or have a change to pay when passing. Upfront a toll can cost $1.00, but neglecting to pay it can cost you 20 times the amount. Preparation will prevent wasting money on the backend.
4. Car Maintenance/Repairs
Ensure that all necessary repairs are taken care of if you are using your vehicle for the road trip. It is also best to make sure that all car maintenance is up to date and that your car is inspected to make sure it is ready for a road trip.
Some things to check are:
*Car fluids- Radiator, brake, power steering, transmission, windshield,
*Tire wear and spare tire
5. Scenic Route
Sometimes we are in such a hurry to get to our destination that we miss the beauty along the way. When you take the scenic route, you can stop and enjoy everything from caves you never knew existed to underwater coral reefs. If you are taking a road trip, why not make it enjoyable for everyone and catch heart-stopping views along the way.
6. Bring a Map
With advancements in technology, this may seem old school, but having a map can save your life.
7. Car Electronics
Do not forget important electronics! This may seem simple, but make sure to bring electronics that will keep everyone occupied along the journey. I took a trip once and forgot my car charger. Yikes! Of course, I was able to purchase one from a gas station, but what a waste of time and money. If you are taking children, they will need their tablets or cell phones, depending on their ages. Cameras will come in handy as well so that you can take pictures along the way.
8. Clean Your Car
It is very important to clean your car at the beginning of your journey. Who wants to start a road-trip with a dirty vehicle? Before making your trip back home, I suggest cleaning the car out because cleaning it halfway through your journey will save you the trouble of having a huge mess to clean once you get home.
9. Games For The Kids
Kids will need something to keep them occupied. You can come up with games ahead of time to play while you are driving. A tablet will help keep them occupied as well. Some well know and fun games to play in the car are:
*The Alphabet Game
*License Plate Game
*Animal Name Game
10. Take A Break
“Are we there yet?” “No!” We are all in a rush to get there, but it is important to take breaks along the way to get food and use the bathroom. Road trips can be a lot of fun, but please remember to take care of yourself. Even if it is to stretch your legs, please stop and relax for a moment. There was a time when I had to get a hotel because I was that tired. Driving is serious, and if you are worn out, please take a break and get a room if needed. Safety comes first!
11. Cleaning Supplies
It is incredibly important to bring cleaning supplies and substances to prevent infectious germs. You may also need cleaning supplies for your hotel room. It is important to clean your hands appropriately, especially after using a gas station or rest stop. Some products that you may want to bring are:
12. Take a Friend or Significant Other
I understand that there are reasons you may have to travel alone, but it is safer to take a road trip with at least one other individual. You will have someone to keep you company, and someone to help if you are in an emergency.
13. Mini Pre-Road Trip Checklist
There are a few things that you will need to do before taking your road trip.
*Fill up your gas tank.
*Use the bathroom.
*Pack food and snacks.
14. Time Zone Changes
If you are traveling to a state in a different time zone, take note of the time change. This will be beneficial if you are going for an event, or need to be somewhere at a specific time.
I always play my favorite podcast when traveling. Before you head out on your adventure, I suggest loading your favorite song onto a playlist or adding your favorite podcast to the queue to be entertained while driving.
Make sure that all of your documents are up to date. This may seem simple, but I know someone who took a trip with expired license plates, and the outcome was not good. It is vital to make sure your driver’s license, insurance, and all registration documents are up to date. Also, make sure that any outstanding traffic tickets are paid.
Are you taking a road trip anytime soon? Do you have any tips for others? Please leave your suggestions in the comments below.