There is nothing more iconic to Americans than the ability to take a road trip. All you need to do is get in your car and drive as far as your vehicle will take you. Along the way, you will visit national landmarks, dine on a variety of local and regional food and immerse yourself in a multitude of different cultures. What are some things that you need to do before you hit the road to prepare for your trip?
Get Your Car Inspected
The first thing that you want to do is to get your car inspected. This ensures that the tires are good, the brakes work well and that the car will start when you need it to. If you don’t have a vehicle, the best time to buy a car is generally during the early winter months or early summer months when people are either buying Christmas presents or already on vacation. If you buy a used car specifically for this road trip, make sure to get it inspected before your make the purchase.
Plan a Logical Route for Your Trip
Depending on the route that you take, you could drive 100 miles and see a variety of sites or drive 1,000 miles and see nothing at all. Therefore, it is critical to plan your route ahead of time to ensure that you get exactly what you want from your trip. Those who want to see the sights or want frequent places to stop will want to stay close to major highways while those who want to see nothing but cows and trees may want to stick to the back roads.
Make Sure That You Have Plenty of Money
You are going to want to create a budget before you leave that covers your meals, lodging and gas money. Make sure to budget money for souvenirs or anything else that you may want or need to buy along the way. In some cases, it may be best to put your expenses on a credit card as you can get cash back or other perks that will lower the cost of your trip. However, prepaid debit cards or cash may work just as well depending on where you are going or whether or not you need to book a hotel. If you do decide to stay in a hotel, it is generally required that you use a credit card to reserve a room.
Have a Friend Come With You to Share the Experience
While you may be the one who is excited about crossing the country and seeing the sights, it may be better to share the experience with a friend. Even if that person isn’t as enthusiastic about the cornfields of Nebraska or the hot weather in Texas, there are still plenty of opportunities to make memories with a good pal or perhaps your significant other. As an added benefit, there is someone else to share the driving, which means you may be able to get to your preferred destinations faster and without needing to stop every night to sleep.
What Will You Bring on Your Trip?
Ideally, you will bring no more than what you need to get to your destination in a timely manner. Make sure that you have a cell phone handy as well as a GPS to keep you from getting lost in the middle of a rural area or other areas where help may not be readily available. You should also make sure to bring a map in case your GPS cuts out in bad weather or in areas where satellite coverage may be sparse. Bring any medication that you may need as well as your driver’s license and auto insurance cards in case you are pulled over.
Going on a road trip can help you get away from the grind of real life for a few days and allows you to indulge in the things that you enjoy. As long as you prepare properly ahead of time, you should be able to enjoy your travels without a lot of stress or drama.