Road tripping is a fun and economical way to travel for short or long distances, whether you’re traveling solo or with a group. I’ve been on several road trips both as a child and as an adult and the rules don’t really change with age; just more responsibility! A successful road trip requires careful planning and while it can be time consuming, it’ll be worth it once you’ve arrived at your final destination. These tips are guaranteed to ensure a successful road trip.
1. DECIDE WHO’S DRIVING.
I have a love/hate relationship with driving. While I prefer not to drive normally, I prefer to drive during road trips. It keeps me occupied and I know we are getting to our destination as quick as possible. Blame my lead foot and Type A personality. Seriously, if a friend or family member likes to ‘drive Miss Daisy,’ they probably aren’t the best candidate and on the contrary, if someone is a speed demon, they aren’t the best person to drive either.
It’s also a great idea to decide if drivers will alternate. Depending on the length of the trip, switching drivers when stopping for gas or every few hours is a good way to break up the driving responsibilities.
2. PLAN YOUR ROUTE.
Do you like driving on highways or taking the scenic route? Will you try to find landmarks along the way? These are questions to consider when planning your route from point A to point B.
3. ENSURE ROADSIDE SERVICE.
Getting a flat tire or having an accident without the proper coverage would be unfortunate. Check with your own car insurance before getting any additional insurance offered by rental car companies. You may already be covered. Better safe than sorry!
4. BE FLEXIBLE & LEAVE ROOM FOR TRAFFIC.
There’s nothing better than discovering a restaurant or tourist attraction during a road trip. Leave some flexibility in your schedule to ‘stop and smell the roses’ along the way. In worst case scenarios, there may be construction or an accident causing traffic to slow. Allow some time in your plan for unexpected delays.
5. FIGURE OUT REST STOPS AND BOOK HOTELS.
If you plan to stop, make sure you’ve mapped out where your stops will be and if you’ll be staying overnight. If so, book your hotel ahead of time but if you like risking it, use apps like Hotel Tonight that allow you to book the same day.
6. HAVE LICENSE, INSURANCE AND CAR RENTAL INFO READILY AVAILABLE.
This should go without saying, but be sure to have your license, insurance and car rental information on hand in case you’re stopped by law enforcement.
7. BRING DISTRACTIONS.
Portable DVD players, iPads, games, books and anything else you can think of will be welcomed distractions on your road trip. It’ll help to pass the time and you won’t find yourself wondering, “Are we there yet?”
8. MAKE A PLAYLIST.
Have your play list ready! Nothing’s worse than driving to bad music.
9. BUY YOUR FAVORITE SNACKS.
Instead of stopping every time you’re hungry, bring along some of your favorite snacks to tie you over. Also, bring a bag to put your trash in. Road tripping is no excuse to be gross!
10. ELECTRONIC DEVICE CHARGERS.
If you’re using your phone for GPS, it will die quickly, so bringing a charger is absolutely necessary. A lot of cars now come equipped with USB outlets, so you may only need the cord.
11. BE A TEAM PLAYER.
Don’t be the annoying person in the group who complains and makes the trip miserable for everyone else. Have a positive outlook and remember your crowded surroundings are only temporary.
Can you think of any great tips for road trips? Be sure to comment below!