The road trip is an iconic travel experience that has been enjoyed by both the young and old since the invention of the automobile. The excursion may take you across the state and only last a few days, or it can lead you across the country or continent for weeks or months. No matter where the road takes you, it is important to take some care and consideration when planning your trip.
Before you leave, invest in roadside service insurance. Your trip can quickly turn sour in the event of an accident, and becoming stranded on an unfamiliar freeway can ruin your whole adventure. Speak with your insurance agent before you leave to make sure your policy provides adequate coverage.
Next, visit your mechanic for a car check-up. Make sure the vehicle is in prime running condition, and check that the spare tire is functional. Let your mechanic know you will be putting hundreds or thousands of miles on the car and follow his or her recommendations.
Pack a small safety kit in the car for emergencies. Include a flashlight, blanket, list of important telephone numbers, a first-aid kit, extra cell phone battery, nonperishable food and a gallon of water.
Even if you have a GPS or smart phone, buy a paper map. Electronic and computer systems are not foolproof and can lead you in the wrong direction quickly. Map out your route on paper and use it to show locals when you are lost.
Write down all the places you want to visit and formulate a realistic time line. Play it safe by being conservative with your estimations. Once on the road, you may discover that you can’t comfortably or safely drive as long as you hoped, so it is better to give yourself extra time to get to and enjoy your destinations.
Plan out overnight stays. It may be tempting to just plan on stopping at a highway motel, but accommodations are few and far between in some stretches of the country. Do an Internet search for campgrounds or motels before you leave so you will always have a place to stay.