Road trips are an American tradition that have been a right of passage for families since Route 66 was constructed in 1926. However, spending hours on end in an enclosed vehicle can be an exhausting and daunting task. Whether you are travelling cross-country or keeping it closer to home, below is a constructive guide for you and your crew to make the most of your road trip experience.
Safety always first. Before packing the car, make sure your vehicle is safe, reliable, and fuel-efficient for your trek. Check the oil, brakes, and tires, either yourself or with your local auto garage. You may want to brush up on your tire changing skills and make sure the spare isn’t flat!
The people you choose to travel with can make or break the trip (see below if that happens to be children). Be selective. Choose people that you get along with for prolonged periods of time and people you know will make the trip the best it can be. Decide ahead of time how everyone will split up driving time, gas, and snacks. Remember, these are the people who will help with sound selection (see below) so good driving companions are vital!
If it’s kids...
Whether they are your children or not , being stuck in a car with young ones for any amount of time can have it’s moments. To make sure they don’t drive you or each other crazy, entertainment is key. Anything from portable DVD players to iPads, to coloring books and stories will do the trick. Making cute car trip care packages for them to dive into will also keep everyone calm and manageable.
Road trips get you from point A to point B. Great road trips make lasting memories along the way. Therefore, it is essential to choose the best route to get the most out of the experience. Maybe taking the scenic route takes longer, but you get to enjoy some awesome sights and experiences. Research your trip. Discover the hidden gems along the way. And if your route passes through a big city? Know traffic patterns so you can avoid them and unnecessary stress.
Now that the core and most important parts of the trip have been covered, we will leave you with a few quick tips to keep in mind when planning your perfect trip.
Budget. Money matters. Plan ahead and budget even for the little things. It ads up. Remember to leave extra funds for the last minute changes and opportunities to make your adventure a fun memory, not a maxed-out bank account.
Sound selection. What’s the playlist? Decide with your crew what everyone wants to listen to, and assign playlist roles. Mix it up to keep everyone entertained.
Grub. Food is important for keeping morale up. Decide what to pack for snacks or meals or where you want to stop beforehand. Remember the water!
Backup Map. It is never a bad idea to go old school with your navigation. Of course, you are most likely going to rely on a GPS system or the maps on your smartphone, but electronics can be unreliable. Pack an updated map incase your technology fails you.
Finally, take lots of pictures, maybe keep a journal. Memories make a trip… and it’s not all about the destination.