Road trips are supposed to be exciting. They can turn into a real nightmare if you aren’t well-prepared. The following list includes 7 planning tips for your next road trip that might help eliminate some of the stress people feel when traveling. See what you think of these 7 suggestions and feel free to include some of your own in the comment section.
7. Check Fluid Levels in the Car before Departing
It’s a horrible feeling to be in an unknown area without a way to get back home. This is the main reason I double check the fluid levels of my vehicle before heading out on a trip. You can take your car to any service station and have this procedure done. It might be a good idea to have the tread on your tires and your brakes checked out as well.
6. Bring a Great Selection of Music
Scanning through fuzzy radio station is a pain in the rear. I always have plenty of CDs in the car to choose from. This saves me time from being distracted while attempting to get a clear radio signal in. When I travel with another person, whoever is in the passenger seat is the DJ. I find this is a much safer option when it comes to choosing music while on the road. As long as you both agree on the music, there shouldn’t be any arguments over which CD is played.
5. Lower Food Costs by Taking Your Own
There’s a big red cooler in the back of my car, no matter what time of year it is. This is an excellent way to store items from the grocery store and to keep me from making stops at fast food restaurants while traveling. A selection of crackers, trail mixes, granola bars, and juice boxes keeps me from getting hungry while driving. Any of these items are easy to eat while on the road. It never hurts to have a jar of peanut butter, a container of jam, and a big loaf of bread either.
4. Take Emergency Numbers with You
Not only should you make sure to have all important numbers with you when traveling, but it’s also wise to leave contact information with close friends and family. Choose someone you trust and let that person know you are taking a trip. If you simply disappear on the road and don’t tell anyone, how will you be contacted if there’s an emergency? You never know when something might happen to a family member, your home, a beloved pet, or who knows what. If you have a cell phone, make sure it is charged at all times.
3. Have a General Idea Where You Are Going
In the states, I find it difficult to get lost what with all the well-marked road signs and such. However, if you are completely new to traveling or aren’t familiar with the city you are attempting to explore on your own, it might be helpful to do a little research before you leave the house. It might be exhilarating for some to simply hop in the car and take off in a direction determined by the flip of a coin, but this can also be dangerous. Be smart.
2. Overestimate the Cost of Fuel
Plenty of handy traveling devices enable drivers to check the price of gas along their route. It’s beneficial to you and your wallet to decide on a route in advance and determine how much the trip will cost. Fluctuating fuel costs can eat into your travel fund rather quickly. I always round up when figuring the total fuel cost for a trip. This saves me from being surprised by an empty wallet before I make it back home. You want to have cash for fun things along the way, right?
1. Buy and up-to-date Atlas
The price of a new road atlas is mere peanuts nowadays. I buy a new one every couple of years, due to the ever-changing roadways and such. I place the new atlas in the car and the older one comes into the house to be used as a reference guide. I make envelopes out of the old pages of ones I’m going to throw away. This keeps most of the atlas out of the landfill and my friends and family enjoy getting letters wrapped in old maps.
I wish you happy travels on your next trip and hope you can use these tips. Out of these 7 planning tips for your next road trip, which one would you consider to be the most important?
Top Photo Credit: travelkittypictures