A road trip, whether alone or with friends and family, is a terrific opportunity to spend quality time on the road and explore new places. But, before you go, know the dos and don’ts to keep you out of trouble.
Here are some dos and don’ts we put up for you so you can start planning that trip you’ve been planning for weeks.
Do: Get your car checked before your First Road Trip.
Even if you are using a van, minivan, campervan, or the ever-popular family caravans, you must check your vehicle before the trip begins. It may be challenging renting a car, but if you’re driving your own or borrowing one from a friend, do yourself a favor and check it before you leave.
Checking your brakes, tires, fluids, oils, air conditioning system, and steering and suspension system can ensure a safe, pleasurable journey. Of course, it does not guarantee the car will not break down, but it does help. Also, monitor tire pressure while traveling, which can help you get better gas mileage.
Do: Bring an extra tire and learn to change it.
Knowing how to change your tire is a must, especially if you like to travel a lot with your car. When on a long trip, driving for weeks, you might experience a tire problem in the middle of nowhere and no one to call for help. Hence, having a piece of knowledge on changing tires will be advantageous.
Do: Have a rough itinerary.
You have to make the essential preparations for your trip, like planning your destination. You don’t have to develop a strict schedule to follow if you don’t want to, but having some sort of basic itinerary would surely be beneficial.
It would be best to know what you want to do or see along the way and where you want to stop. It will not only assist you in budgeting wisely, but it will also assist you in determining how much time you will spend on your journey.
Do: Invest in maps
Yes, we have digital maps on our phones nowadays, but having an old-school and fold-out map will be helpful just in case. You may pass areas with low to no cell coverage on a long trip. Having a paper map on hand is a smart move in these situations.
Do: Plan your budget.
While you can’t predict every purchase you’ll make while traveling, estimating what best fits your budget allows you to be flexible and can make unexpected purchases.
If you rent a car or pre-book all of your accommodations, such as inns, motels, hotels, and campgrounds, your costs will be known beforehand. It’s also relatively simple to estimate petrol costs.
If you’re with friends, make a financial plan before you depart. Who will pay for the gas? Will you split the cost? Will you simply gather your funds and use that to pay for everything? How will you divide and pay for your meals? All of this planning ahead of time will save you time and money.
Don’t pass up on excellent experiences because of the cost. Make a budget for yourself and bring some extra cash. Even if personal finance isn’t your thing, create a budget you can add to. Life is far too short. After all, you may never have the opportunity to revisit some of these locations.
Don’t: Overthink, overplan, and overpack.
We all want our trip to go as planned and imagined. But not everything will always proceed as we plan, which may cause disappointment. That is why you must limit your expectations, pack only what is necessary to get through your trip and give yourself time to deal with the unexpected.
Don’t: Wait until the last minute to do research.
There may be times when you travel to other nations on a road trip, and the rules and regulations vary depending on where you go. Before you leave on your big overseas road trip, do your homework.
Determine if an international license is required and if there are any limitations or driving conventions to be aware of.
Don’t: Forget the gas.
If you’re visiting a new country or a nearby town, ensure you can fill your tank regularly. Before going on any road trips, do your best to map out available gas stations, especially if you’ll be going into remote areas. You don’t want to get stranded in the middle of the night with your gas tank on ‘E’ and no gas station in sight.
Play it safe and refill the tank whenever possible. The station stops will also benefit everyone by giving them time to use the restroom and stretch their legs before continuing the journey.
Don’t: Forget the snacks and the cooler.
Traveling on the open road can be tiring, and you don’t want to be irritated and hungry between rest stops. Adventurous eaters should take advantage of this opportunity to taste local snacks and delights.
You can try different specialties as you travel and see which ones keep you returning. If you like to stick to familiar favorites, you can stock up on them before heading out. Pack some protein, especially the driver, to keep everyone’s energy levels up. Bring some extra beverages as well to keep you guys hydrated.
Don’t: Pick up questionable hitchhikers.
It’s good to help others in need. It’s also fun to meet new people on the road. Friends started as strangers before feeling comfortable with each other after getting to know the other person.
But on a trip, you must be careful with these hitchhikers, assess them first, and listen to your instincts. If you feel comfortable offering folks rides, go ahead, but be careful who you let in your car.
The dos and don’ts stated above may just be a few that you must know of. You can still further your research if you want to, but the info above is enough for a start. Nevertheless, just go on that road trip and have fun!