You will be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t like to travel. It’s hard to think of a better way to travel than a road trip. You aren’t restrained by flight schedules or bus boarding times and you can explore anything you want at your own pace. However, there are some things you need to watch out for. Before you and your family take a trip anywhere, you should be prepared.
When preparing for road trips people often forget about the most important factor. You will probably shift your focus towards your vehicle and its needs, but what you should really be doing is looking at your own. Preparing yourself is the most important part of going on the road.
Road trips are much longer than you think. Most of the trip won’t be you driving while surrounded by beautiful coastlines and interesting locations. The great majority of your time spent on the road is going to be you and your family surrounded by nothing but open road and barren terrain. If you’re lucky, you might even run into some unplanned fun times. Still, you will need to find something to keep you all occupied while heading toward your next destination. Start by preparing a lot of snacks for the road. There’s nothing like a bag of chips to quench your hunger when you’re on a break.
You’ll need to prepare for the drive itself. A good night’s sleep is imperative if you want to function. Not getting enough shut-eye is one of the most dangerous things you can do before you get behind the wheel. Keep that in mind the night before you decide to head out.
Be smart with gas
Everyone knows that road trips aren’t exactly free. Getting someplace is going to cost you a pretty penny in terms of fuel. You want to be environmentally conscious during your trip and spend as little as possible. This can mean planning ahead a little bit. Predict where your trip will take you and find the most efficient way to get there. Maps won’t do you much good because they don’t show things like elevation. If you’re driving on flat terrain, it’s going to save you a lot of fuel and headaches in the organization. Rough roads aren’t fun to tread on and they don’t help you conserve fuel.
The way you drive is almost as important as where your road takes you. Acceleration takes up a large chunk of your fuel. Obviously, you can’t go anywhere if your car doesn’t accelerate, but you can mitigate the fuel loss by accelerating slower.
Be smart about what you bring on the trip. Having things that are a bit too heavy will slow you down significantly. Think of anything you put in your car as an additional cost in terms of fuel. If it’s more efficient to buy something elsewhere instead of bringing it with you, that might be your best bet.
Stay safe and alert
Road safety is one of those things nobody should take for granted. Travelling by car is no joke. It might be extremely widespread and ubiquitous at this point, but it’s still dangerous at its core. You’re driving at very large speeds in a humongous death machine that weighs literal tons. Staying safe should be your priority.
Start by checking the functionalities of your car. All the lights that signal other drivers should be in tip-top shape. When that’s taken care of, you shouldn’t forget a first aid kit. They can be particularly useful if you’re stuck somewhere where people can’t get to you in time.
Make sure your car is ready
Something like a road trip isn’t going to be like a regular drive with your car. Normally, you might drive a couple of miles to a destination before leaving your vehicle. This doesn’t put a lot of stress on your car. You usually have a lot of stops in-between due to things like traffic lights and traffic jams. However, going on a road trip is a whole different story. You’re not just putting a huge amount of stress on your car; you’re also doing it to your car’s tires.
You don’t want your vehicle to break down in the middle of nowhere. It has to be prepared before you head out towards your desired location. It might be wise to take it for a spin to your local auto repair shop in order to check if everything is working fine. It’s easy to take a risk when the nearest car shop is down the block. When you’re out there in the wilderness, you might not want to get stranded.
Check hotels and make reservations
If your trip is long enough, you’re going to want to have a place to stay for the night. When you’re travelling alone, the uncomfortable car backseat could be a viable alternative. However, travelling with your family makes this impossible. You will want to have a nice clean bed for all of you to lay down and rest.
Booking hotels can get quite tricky. This is especially true when you’re on a road trip. You might not have planned out the entirety of your trip before leaving. Some people like a little bit of spontaneity. So how will you know which hotels to book? The best idea is to take a tiny risk with this. You don’t have to book the hotels in advance, but you might want to check if the hotels along the way have a ton of available rooms during the time you’re travelling. This way, you can check in and they will likely still have some rooms left.
No matter where you’re headed, car trips are some of the most fun activities you can partake in. When you find yourself on the open road, you’re going to be glad you made this decision. Just make sure you’ve taken the right steps to prepare for this kind of trip.