TodayApril 15, 2022

How to make a road trip fun

Top tips for planning a road trip

I love planning a road trip. Getting my girlfriends together and knowing you’re going to see a ton of open road, taking advantage of beautiful weather, and seeing new places. Planning appropriately for a road trip is a bit stressful, though, but if you do it right, you could reduce any potential issues that you could encounter, while reducing expenses and maximizing how much fun you could be having instead. Since I’ve become a pro at planning the tips let me show you how can make your road trip enjoyable!

Before you leave

Get the car checked. For the best, safest time on the road, you need a vehicle that’s going to work for you. Consider getting your car checked over by a professional before you hit the road. Here are some of the things that you need to ask your mechanic:

* Tires need to have adequate pressure and a good tread so that they can be worthy on the road. If the tread is too shallow, your tires are more likely to skid along rather than drive. You should look at the pressure because the last thing that you need is a flat on the road.

* Fluid levels have to be topped up; both your oil and your washer fluid should be looked at carefully. General maintenance is important, and it’s a good idea to have all of the filters and fluids checked out and changed regularly. If necessary, you can get the lines in the car flushed and cleaned before you go on the trip for optimum.

* Belts in your car should be checked and cracked belts replaced.

* Check the brake pads to make sure they are not too thin when you’re going to do any driving, never mind a longer drive. The thinness of your brake pads could affect the rest of the vehicle, doing damage where you really don’t want damage.

The one thing that you don’t want to do is start a new trip, only to run into a hiccup along the way. Putting your car into the best condition possible is a good thing to do but you can think of all the other ways that your trip can be a success. Here are some of the things that you can do to make that happen:

* Pack the car the day before and make sure that it all fits and all the people fit into it, too. You need to pack so that you have visibility in your mirrors and try not to attach too much on the roof. Putting things onto the roof can reduce how efficient your car is, and added weight to can also affect how efficient your car is.

* Use as many ways to get to where you’re going a possible, from GPS tracking to paper maps. Navigation systems aren’t the most reliable out there so it’s best to have backups where you can.

* Keep emergency kits in the boot and the glove compartment. You need to have jumper cables and basic first aid items as well as blankets and non-perishables.

* Know the rules of the road; no U-turns where they’re not allowed and adhere to the speed limits.

When you plan a road trip, you need to be as patient as possible. Road trips can carry some of the best memories that you’ve ever had, but the last thing that you want is to have to worry about what to do after a car accident. Make sure to have your driver’s license and insurance card.

You don’t want to have to go on a road trip only to worry about your car, the people in it or even making the journey in the wrong direction. There are plenty of hiccups that can happen on the road while you’re driving with your friends. Where you can, you should make the most of the experience and enjoy yourself while you see new towns and cities.

To avoid mishaps while you’re out there on the road, follow these tips:

Get Insurance Settled. You can only be as careful as you like, but you cannot plan for everything and this is why we buy insurance! If you are going to cross states, you need to make sure that you are covered with car insurance at your destination. You need to also make sure that you have travel insurance and health insurance in case you fall ill on the road. If you do, your trip could be way more expensive than you expected it to be.

Check Reviews. One of the biggest road trip hiccups is getting to your main destination and finding out that your hotels are just not up to what you thought they would be. Imagine not checking the reviews before you go and figuring out that you’ve booked into an infested hotel full of bugs and issues? That just wouldn’t be the ideal way to get to your destination. Instead, check reviews websites and call around – getting real feedback from people that you know have stayed in these locations. You’re on a road trip, so there is bound to be more than one hotel on your travels.

Always Stay Connected. You need to be reachable on the road, and you need to reach others, too. Staying in touch with your family while you’re busy seeing everything possible. It’s also a great idea to consider a satellite phone and how it can help you to stay on the road where people can find you in an emergency. No one wants to think about the possible emergent situations that could occur, but if you don’t think about these things you’re not going to be prepared for the hiccups that could stand in your way.

Have A Backup Plan. No matter what, sometimes things go wrong.

Prepare for everything from a freak snowstorm to excessive heat when you’re expecting sunshine, to the car breaking down on the road. These things that go wrong cannot be helped, and they cannot always be foreseen. The preparation that you do for your road trip is so important and you need to make sure that you have a plan B to fall back on. Putting money to one side to ensure that you can still have your break is important, as is knowing where you can get a rental car if your car DOES breakdown and need towing. If you already know all of the places you could find help, you’re going to find it much easier to plan your road trip and make it easy to manage.

Lastly, the one big preparation tip that you need to consider is your travel expenses. The money you spend on your road trip is going to add up quickly no matter how you choose to travel. The car preparation and maintenance while you’re on the road, along with the dining out, entertainment, hotels – it all adds up. You need to make your trip less expensive and you need to do that by being smart. Download voucher apps and pack food to take with you. If you want to save on hotels, bring tents and make sure that you stop in the designated camping areas.

Your road trip this year is going to be epic – follow the tips and avoid the potholes in the road, and you will be able to have the vacation of a lifetime. Be proactive and prepare yourself; you’ve got memories to make.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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