5 Ways to Prepare for an Awesome Road Trip
Summer is coming, and that means it’s the ideal time for a road trip! Road trips are fun. They’re exciting. They give you complete freedom to travel where you want and at your own pace. You can often reach places that would otherwise be difficult, or expensive, to get to. Road trips are a terrific way to explore diverse parts of the world on your own terms.
Don’t neglect advance travel preparations before jumping behind the wheel, though!
1. Check Your Vehicle is Roadworthy
This is one of the most important considerations before you hit the open road; your auto must be safe and roadworthy! Check the accelerator, clutch, brakes and steering wheel before setting off and, if in any doubt, have a mechanic give your car the once over. Replace ragged wiper blades, check all lights are working, and make sure the oil is topped up.
Regularly check your tires, before you start your journey and while on your trip. Don’t forget to check the condition of the spare too. And, if you’re still using winter tyres, change them to summer tyres for optimum performance.
2. Pack the Essentials
What you need to pack, beyond your clothes and some snacks, depends on where your route will lead you. If you’re sticking to major tourist areas with a good infrastructure, you can get by with the basics and travel light. If you’re planning to head away from the tried-and-trodden path into more remote areas, your packing list will likely look a lot different.
For example, if you’re planning a road trip through the Australian Outback, you’ll need to carry plenty of food, water and spare gas. You’ll also need to be prepared to drive for days without seeing a soul and plan to be self sufficient.
Take plenty of cash along for the ride in case cards aren’t accepted in smaller gas stations, roadside stores, or motels.
Roadmaps and atlases may seem outdated in today’s traveling world, but they can be invaluable on a road trip. Like, showing you shortcuts that your GPS doesn’t know about!
3. Make Use of Technology
There are many great apps that can help you out of a sticky spot while driving, lots of which are free to download. Download the best road trip apps in advance of your journey and benefit from useful information at your fingertips, when you need it.
There are likely to be loads of Instagram-worthy moments on your road trip. Take chargers that will fit into the cigarette lighter, spare batteries and external battery packs to ensure that your phones, cameras, and other devices always fully charged while on the go. Plus, there’s no point downloading handy travel apps if your phone dies and you can’t access them!
4. Prepare Your Entertainment
So, there will be moments on almost any road trip where boredom starts to set in. Looking at the same views can become tiring after a while, and it helps to have something to break up the monotony.
Prepare a road trip playlist with all your favorite feel-good songs that everyone can sing along to when the mood starts to dip. How about taking along some audio books too? Pack basic travel games, like car bingo, to give something new to focus on once in a while.
If you’re road tripping with kids, make sure you have stacks of interesting games, toys, and activities to keep younger passengers amused. Try and steer well clear, though, of things that make lots of noise and that can distract the driver. Don’t forget earphones for portable DVD players or iPads!
5. Know Everyone’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Knowing what your travel buddies are great at, and what they suck at, in advance can save tensions and frustrations during your trip. Be honest with each other and have a rough plan of who will take care of what.
It might be that one person is awesome at ensuring you all eat well but couldn’t read a map if their life depended on it. The amazing navigator might think that bathing from a hose in a gas station is the ideal way to keep clean. Another friend might be tops at finding budget accommodation—with a shower!
While you’ll all pull together as a team, and probably share the driving, putting people in charge of different tasks can make for a much smoother experience.
Check your documentation is order, that you have roadside assistance cover and that you have a rough plan of where you’re going. Buckle up, start the engine and have a fantastic adventure!