Road trips: Dos and Don’ts
Heading out on a road trip with your friends or family can be a great experience. There’s a saying that goes “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” and whether you’re heading out to the mountains with your family for a weekend camping trip or to the beach with your friends for a relaxing day under the sun, road trips can be a very fun part of the experience. Even having a road trip with no specific destination can be fun and would satisfy your wanderlust.
Road trips can either take a few hours or could sometimes last for several days; in either of these scenarios, you will be spending a lot of time on the road. Here are some dos and don’ts for your road trip:
Do prepare for your road trip
Although spontaneous road trips can be fun, it’s always good to have a plan. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a spontaneous road trip, this means that you should take some time for planning; even just a few hours before you go on the road, will do. Bring some snacks and lots of water so you’ll have some supply when you get hungry or thirsty. It’s also best to have a basic first aid kit just in case of an emergency.
Do not rely on your GPS or smart phones
Even if the GPS system in your car has been reliable so far, you should still bring an actual physical map with you. Your GPS or smartphone map app can malfunction and lead you in the wrong direction. There may also be areas where cellular coverage is not very good, so it is best to have a physical map with you to supplement your navigation during your road trip.
Do your research
Find out the number of rest stops and gasoline stations along the way. Mark them on either your GPS or smartphone map app and on your actual physical map. Having this information will help you plan when to stop and where to get you gas.
Do not travel during rush-hour
There may be times when this is unavoidable, but if you can, do not start your road trip during the rush-hour. This will make your trip longer than necessary and will definitely put a damper on your whole trip. Try to plan your departure when the roads are less busy.
Do think about comfort
Having more people come along on a road trip can be a fun idea at first, but imagine having to sit with more than two people at the backseat of a vehicle for long stretches of time. Make sure that everyone inside the vehicle has enough space to sit and position themselves comfortably. If you’re bringing your whole family with you and you don’t have a vehicle big enough to fit everyone comfortably, you can bring two vehicles instead and change passengers every once in a while to make sure that everyone gets a chance to interact.
Do have fun
It’s tempting to plan your road trip to the smallest detail, especially when you’re traveling with children, but you shouldn’t plan it to the point where all the enjoyment of the trip is gone, after all, the purpose of your road trip is to have fun with the people you’re traveling with. Try and stop at national parks or tourist attractions that are along the way. Choose a fun restaurant or diner to stop for meals.
Do not forget to check your vehicle
Your vehicle is your best friend when it comes to road trips. Make sure that your vehicle can make it to the end of the trip and take you to your destinations safely. If you have the time, have a mechanic check your vehicle before you embark on your road trip. You should also make sure that you have all the proper documentation with you and your insurance card as well. Car accidents can happen at any moment and it is best that you are prepared, especially during a road trip where you travel for hours and encounter many drivers along the way.
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