Plan my roadtrip… it’s hard, isn’t it? We’ve got so used to flying that every little vacation seems to involve a plane ride. Not that I’m against planes, they get you there much faster. But it does get boring to have the same old view of the sky and clouds every time you travel, doesn’t it? Besides, roadtrips are way cheaper, fun, and you get to make stops and interact with your environment anytime you want to. Maybe even make faces at other drivers while on the road (no judgment).
It’s probably why roadtrips will never go out of style.
I have to warn you though, without proper planning, roadtrips can take a turn for the worse. Car problems or literally getting lost on the road will be a massive hit to your wallet which will end up driving you nuts. The opposite of why you took the trip in the first place! With the below tips on planning a roadtrip, you can make (good) memories no matter what the type of trip you are planning. I suggest you pay attention!
Plan my roadtrip tip #1
Keep Your Companions In Mind When Picking A Destination
The first step in planning a successful roadtrip is picking out the perfect destination. To do this, consider your budget and the time you plan on spending. The best roadtrips are usually a week or two tops. Anything beyond two weeks is not only wallet-draining (and potentially boring), but will also take a toll on your body.
The last thing you want is to drag a bunch of grumpy, reluctant companions on a roadtrip. For this reason, involve them in the planning no matter how close you are or how well you know them. This ensures that you are all happy with the destination, stopovers, and routes to use.
Plan my roadtrip tip #2Inspect Your Ride Before Hitting The Road
A broken down car will suck the life out of any roadtrip in a matter of minutes; especially if it happens on the dodgy side of town or in the middle of nowhere. To avoid this common pitfall, have a mechanic check your car a week before you travel. This ensures that the essentials like brake fluid, engine oil, and wiper fluids are at their optimum.
Don’t forget to carry a spare wheel and essential tools like jump start cables and a flashlight. Also make sure to keep your documents such as driving license and insurance close and up to date.
Most people like to take their own cars on roadtrips, but if you know your car is not up to the task of long-distance travel, consider renting one instead.
Plan my roadtrip tip #3Have A Roadside Rescue Policy
Sometimes no amount of planning prepares you for accidental breakdowns along the road. Fine, you can take your chances on well wishers for small issues like jump starting your car. But how often will that work?
In many cases, people drive right past you and your car problems as if you are invisible. In a worst-case scenario, you could have engine problems or have just run out of fuel in the middle of nowhere.
The chances of a fellow motorist saving you in such cases are pretty slim. To save time and for the safety of your car, have a roadside rescue policy and their contacts saved on your phone beforehand.
Plan my roadtrip tip #4Map Things Out
An ideal roadtrip is one that includes at least one person who is familiar with the road. This saves you time consulting maps and minimizes chances of getting lost.
However, if you are a bunch of adventure seeker and decide to take on an unfamiliar road, make sure you have a map to direct you. GPS is not always 100% accurate and will often give you multiple routes to one destination which can be really confusing.
For accuracy, you can use a paper map alongside your car’s GPS or better yet, have two GPS systems. You can also go for apps like Road Trippers and OnTheWay to help you track down interesting spots like museums, hotels and parks among other worthwhile roadside attractions.
Plan my roadtrip tip #5Have loose plans
Although you may have certain plans that are set in stone, putting a strict timeline on everything is setting yourself up for failure and lots of headaches. It’ll be more fun if you take your time and enjoy the moment rather than rush through the trip for the sake of it. Besides, you have to anticipate delays such as blocked road and traffic jams.
Plan my roadtrip tip #6Bring Along Entertainment And Food
Since you will be spending lots of time in your car, food and entertainment will make the drive lively and memorable. Pack up some healthy snacks alongside your usual travel junk food and remember to carry lots of water.
Plan my roadtrip tip #7Divide Labor Throughout The Roadtrip
Let’s face it, having one person deciding everything on the trip is annoying not to mention one-sided. There are guys who can’t read a map if their lives depended on it. Some really suck at picking out hotels and restaurants. While others will keep you topped up on junk food throughout the journey. Divide up tasks depending on what a person is good at. It promotes efficiency and helps everyone feel included.
While you’re at it, make sure you decide on how to switch between driving to avoid overworking one person.
Plan my roadtrip tip #8Traveling With Kids
Family roadtrips are so much fun, right up until the kids start making a fuss. Between constant stops to pee and nonstop quarreling, you will barely have time to enjoy the trip yourself.
To keep things calm, keep them occupied with snacks and games. In this case, video games work better than board games. Make sure you also bring along some roadtrip music that is fun for the kids to sing along to.
Plan my roadtrip tip #9Know When It’s Time To Quit
There will be days when you are so tired you hat you can’t help sleeping in or taking an afternoon off the road. As I’ve said, dragging along a grumpy crew is not fun. Rest when you have to. Then pick up from where you left when your energy is back. From experience, such relaxing afternoons end up being one of the major highlights of the whole trip.
So now all you need to do…
…is find yourself a car and some friends. Hopefully you already have them… 😉
Then you’re all set – have fun on your roadtrip! I hope you liked my tips and feel more prepared.
All the best,
Theresa from MyPostcard