The sun is shining and the road stretches out before you. There’s no better time of year to hit the road for a road trip than summer! Whether you are a meticulous vacation planner or a “wake up and go” kind of adventurer, here are a few tips to get you started on your next road journey!
Make a Route
While it is fun to meander around the country in a car, it’s good for everyone involved to have even loose expectations of a route or destination. Having a general route also gives friends and family an idea of where you are located in case of an emergency. For those who are planners, consider making a set route and itinerary with planned rest stops along the way!
Get the Car Checked
Just as one should get a physical before starting a new fitness regime, it’s important to have the car checked before a long road trip. The last thing you need is to get halfway through your journey to have something majorly go wrong with your car. Stop in to your local mechanic, and have them check the major systems. Change the oil and top off fluids before you set off on your trip.
Keep the Car Clean
Start with a clean car and keep the car clean! Whether the trip is for a week or several, road trips mean spending a majority of the day inside your vehicle. Trash, dirt and grime build slowly. So make a habit of purging the car of litter at every rest stop. Keep the windows clean from dirt to maximize your field of vision and safety.
Get Scenic on Back Roads
Sure, highways are the fastest but they are also the least scenic. The point of a road trip is to see new things! So, make plans on your route to get off the main roads. You may find some amazing treasures along the way!
Join a Roadside Assistance Service
Safety first, right? Consider joining a roadside assistance program such as AAA. This will not only give you a peace of mind, but also enhance your safety in case of an emergency. An added bonus: many roadside assistance and travel services have discounts for lodging and attractions!
Have Several Map Options
We’ve come a long way in terms of technology: our phones can now guide us throughout the country! But, technology has a downfall: wifi dead zones. Make sure to have hard-copy backups (ie: paper maps) in case you can’t find a signal or your GPS fails.
Bring Extra Chargers
We rely on our phones and electronics so much: for entertainment, for communication, for directions. Keep your devices charged so that the kids can still enjoy a movie as you drive or you can make a call to check-in at home. It is a good idea to have backup chargers in case one breaks or fails.
And, most importantly, after your adventure, don’t forget to wash your car down with WASHDROPS!