If you’re adventurous, curious and don’t mind sitting behind the wheel, road trips might be the best way to travel for you! However, if you don’t know what to expect and how to prepare, you might see your trip cut short. No matter if you’re planning to drive across the continent or just have a little weekend adventure, you must know these hacks that will help you on the road and ensure you have a stress-free, fun and safe drive.
Make a (loose) plan
Unless you have absolutely no time limit, you must create a loose road trip plan. For instance, decide on the cities you’ll sleep in and plan so you don’t drive for more than 8 hours a day. The rest can be decided on the road! As long as your main plan is going okay, the rest of the time you can explore the place, follow weird billboards or try every slushy you pass!
You don’t want to fill your car so that you can’t bring souvenirs back! What if you find some signed hockey sticks in Canada, a stuffed alligator head in Florida, a crate of Napa Valley wine or a box of Vegemite from Oz? If your trunk is full of suitcases, you won’t be able to take these authentic souvenirs back with you! However, make sure to pack a tent and some sleeping bags in case you don’t find a place to spend the night!
Pack a spare key
You might think this one goes without saying, but you’ll be surprised how many road-trippers end up with extra expenses regarding roadside assistance by getting locked out of their car!
Get some good wheels
The type of car that you’re choosing should greatly depend on your destination and the number of road trippers. For instance, a convertible might be a great solution for a romantic yet short road trip with your better half. However, if you’re making a cross-country trip with your whole squad, you might want to find something more spacious and sturdy like an SUV. A good 4×4 car will take you out of every situation and provide you with enough comfort, even during long trips. But, no matter which type of car you choose, make sure to get it checked out before you embark on your adventure!
Divide and conquer
Some people are natural navigators, some are entertainers and some are decision-makers. So, use your companions’ skills and divide responsibilities accordingly. This way, you’ll all have a nice trip without just one person pulling on all the weight. No one will feel overburdened or neglected, and you’ll arrive at your destination without any stress!
Carry some cash
Even though most people use plastic nowadays, it’s always smart to carry some cash with you. It’s great for emergencies, but even better for tolls! So, make sure to fill your cup holder with some coins and small bills.
Stay in touch with people at home
Staying safe on the road is very important, so make sure to inform your parents or close friends about your route and cities you reach and plan to reach the next day. This way, they will have a good overview of your trip in case anything goes wrong. Otherwise, stay off your phone and enjoy the trip! This is the perfect time to bond with your car mates, soak up the sights you pass and just take a break from technology. It might be tempting to go online during the long drive, but the Internet is not going anywhere, while your road trip is time-limited!
Stock up on road trip games
Instead of reaching for your phone, try playing some fun road games once you get a little bored. Try playing 21 Questions, singing games for musicians or movie games for movie buffs. You’re free to put your personal twist on the game and make it as simple or as complicated as you wish! These games will surely pass the time until your next stop!
Rely on locals for advice
Sure, Yelp and online tourist guides have some great recommendations, but locals always know best! So, if you want to try the best and cheapest burger in town, stop one of the locals and ask for advice! They will usually be happy to give their opinion and even provide detailed directions!
Get a real map
Google Maps are very practical and reliable, but it’s always great to have a real map with you. In case your phones die or you get left with no reception, you’ll be glad you have the real deal. Additionally, try to trace your route and write little notes on the side of your map. It will be a great and authentic road trip memory!
A well-executed road trip can be one of the best memories and adventures of your life! So, choose the right wheels, grab your passengers, pack smart and start your engine.