Few experiences are as liberating as taking on the road and exploring the world on your own terms. A road trip allows you to see wonderful sceneries while enjoying freedom far away from your responsibilities, so it does not come as a surprise that we all want to experience it sometime. With international travel taking the backseat last year, more people got on the road than ever before – and no wonder, considering that this type of travel perfectly allows for staying safe and socially distant while still seeing new things. If you, too, want to hit the road this year, you should know that planning a road trip is not something that should be taken lightly. Only with extensive planning and preparation can you travel in a safe and comfortable manner. Here are 6 tips that will come in handy.
Make a plan but stay flexible
As we just said, planning is crucial when organizing a road trip, be it solo or with your friends or family. Even if you love spontaneity, plan your itinerary and research the roads you are to take. Have a backup plan in case you are faced with a road works sign along the way. Researching your route will allow you to take note of any interesting sights there might be just off the path – you don’t want to miss out on these since they are what make road trips exciting. That said, don’t “overschedule” your trip. You don’t want to get stressed out because you’re behind schedule by a few miles. We live in an unpredictable world, so a loose but solid plan is what you need.
Have an emergency budget
It’s incredibly important to budget well for your road trip. And that also means having plenty of extra money in case something unexpected happens. Your emergency fund should be large enough to cover expenses such as roadside assistance in case your car happens to break down. But having an emergency fund in your bank account is not enough. You also have to make sure you always have cash on hand. Running out of cash when you’re carefree on the road is a real possibility but it can place you in an uncomfortable situation. When carrying cash, make sure you keep it in a safe pocket while browsing busy markets and other tourist spots.
Take care of your car
A road trip is quite a big endeavor no matter how you look at it, and not only you but your car has to be prepared for it as well. Nothing is more important than your and your family’s safety on the road, so be sure to make extensive preparations in this regard. There are a lot of things you can do yourself to make sure your car is ready for the trip: check and change the fluids, particularly the engine oil, check the tread on your tires, the tire pressure, and all of your lights… Even if you do all this, you should not set out with your car before taking it to a mechanic for a full checkup. You will also do yourself a favor if you clean your car thoroughly before setting out. Find a reliable car detailing service and your vehicle will feel like new.
Consider taking an RV along
Those who like camping and spending time in nature can save some money on accommodation by taking an RV along on their road trip. Not only is it an additional layer of protection when it comes to social distancing, but it really allows you to make a stop wherever you want while staying comfortable, too. If you decide to take this route, there are a few additional considerations to make. First of all, you will have to be a bit more meticulous when planning your route – those detours on the unbeaten path might have to wait for another time. It’s also a good idea to research campsites to make the most of your trip. If you’re taking your own RV, make sure it’s well taken care of and ready for the trip. But you can also rent an RV by browsing websites such as RVshare.
Your road trip will surely be fun. Simply gazing at the scenery and chatting with your companion will make hours feel like minutes. However, if you’re not used to spending extended amounts of time away from your TV, it might be a good idea to bring some entertainment along. The good news is that, nowadays, technology allows us to take whole libraries with ourselves in our pockets. So, download music, podcasts, and books, and load up on portable chargers. It’s also a good idea to fill your phone with useful apps that will not only entertain but also help you out on your road trip. If you’re traveling with family and small children, bringing along some of their toys and loading up on games should go without saying. Consider investing in a headrest mount for tablets so that little ones will not get bored (and on your nerves) half an hour into your trip.
You might think that the beauty of road trips is their spontaneous nature, but setting out without a plan is irresponsible. Plan your route well and make sure your car is ready for the task, and you’ll be able to have fun and enjoy your trip.