With everybody flying nowadays it can seem like the all-American road trip is a thing of the past, but with all the cars on the road, it looks like there are a lot of people who are still up for a good old fashioned car trip. There is no denying that the open road still has an appeal for those looking to take a vacation and we have some tips for you and your family for when you decide to hit the freeway.
10 Things to consider before Road Trip
1. Clean Your Car
If you leave those gum wrappers and empty food containers in your vehicle before you take off your going to be sorry. After a few days, your car is going to be overrun with hotel receipts, maps, and dog hair along with all the other stuff you should have cleaned before you left. Before you curse the heavens, take some time every couple of days to clean your vehicle.
2. Keep Your Vehicle in Shape
Before heading out on a long trip, Rochester Hills Dodge, Jeep (Rochester Hills, MI) suggest having a mechanic check your car’s brakes, tires, fluid levels and anything else you can think of. Make sure that you have a spare tire that’s fully inflated and that you have jumper cables and extra wiper fluid as well.
3. Plan and Then Backup Plan
When you head out on a road trip, expect delays. Chances are you are going to encounter the dreaded “Road Work Ahead” sign at some point during your trek down the countryside. Seeing how it is frowned upon to drive 95 mph on the shoulder, it’s best that you plan so that you’re not pushing yourself when you should be sleeping. Try canceling your original hotel reservation so you can get on a little short of your planned destination.
4. Stay off Highways and See the Country
Unless you’re abiding by a strict schedule, take some time and explore this great country! Try spending some time on the back roads but avoid the endless strip malls known as “blue highways.” Most road maps and a few smartphone apps like road trippers can help you find a lot of interesting scenic routes for your road trip.
5. Have an Escape Plan
While there are a lot of visually stunning back roads to explore in this country, a good number of them are long, winding, and require you to drive a top speed of 35 mph, and if you are traveling from New Jersey to Florida it’s going to take you about four days of ten-hour driving. Also, jerking the car in ninety different directions on winding roads tend to cause car sickness. When done exploring head back to I-95.
6. Don’t Get into Trouble Spots
About ten years ago, I was heading from Virginia through New Jersey via the George Washington Bridge. On a Friday. At 5 pm. Several curse words and a ripped off toll booth later, and I was regretting my life choices. Make sure that you plan so you get over the George Washington Bridge at 9 am on a Thursday instead of having a mental break down on an American landmark.
7. Load up on Entertainment Options
Let’s face it the days of the radio being your only source of entertainment is long gone. You’ll want to have your phone at the ready to keep you entertained over the long hours of driving. Downloading your favorite music, podcasts, and audio books can help make those otherwise tedious hours fly by. Some cars have a built-in phone charger that plugs into the console and keeps your phone charged.
8. Divide the Labor
Some people are good at navigating while others couldn’t locate Texas on a map. Some people are good at planning meals, while others want to eat ice cream for dinner. Know who does what well so you can divide the chores in a way that satisfies everyone.
9. Join AAA
Those who take enough road trips probably know what it feels like to be stranded on the side of the road in the middle of Nowhere at 2 am. Having a AAA membership is essential in making sure that you’re not sitting in your car, hoping that a reasonable person happens to wander past. Having AAA also shields you from some of the dangers that no one wishes to encounter.
10. Have Your Documents and a Clean Record
It might seem like common sense, but it’s never a good idea to travel without your license, registration, and proof of insurance as you could be in for a world of pain if you are pulled over. Also, you might want to pay those old traffic and parking tickets to shield your car from getting impounded and your family members from yelling at you later.
No road trip is going to be perfect, but by following these steps, we hope that it will make your life easier. Utilizing these tips as well as your best judgment can turn a nightmare road trip into a positive one!