A road trip can be an exciting and unforgettable experience, but you’ll want to make it memorable for all the right reasons! One of the best ways to travel cross-country, a road trip will give you the chance to experience different states, see the sights and explore new towns and cities, all at your own pace.
Of course, your first priority with any road trip is your safety. With some basic preparation and handy tips for the journey, you’ll have the trip of a lifetime when you hit the road…
1. Plan your route
Planning your route may sound like an obvious first step, but you’d be surprised at how many people set off on a road trip with only a vague idea of where they’re heading. Whilst it’s great to leave some free time for detours, having a solid route planned will help keep you on track. In addition to this, sharing your planned route with someone will ensure that people to know where and when you’re likely to be at any given time, which will help to keep you safe on the road.
Remember – when you’re embarking on a long road trip, you may pass through vast deserts, farmlands, and scrublands, so there’s no guarantee you’ll have a signal for your cell phone or GPS. Plan your route in advance and make sure you’ve got offline access to it, just in case your tech lets you down.
2. Go off the beaten track
When you enter your starting point and destination into a GPS, you’ll probably be given the most direct route to follow. However, road trips aren’t about getting from A to B in the quickest time possible. Whilst highways may cut some time off your journey, you won’t necessarily get to see the sights if you choose to travel on the fastest roads. When you’re plotting your route, take a look at the options and decide whether you want to follow some lesser-known roads and experience the local area.
3. Choose the right car
If you don’t own a vehicle, you may need to borrow or hire a car for your road trip. However, even if you have your own car, you may still need to find an alternative mode of transport. Having a safe and reliable car is vital for any journey but it’s particularly important when you’re on a road trip. Make sure the vehicle you’re taking has been well-maintained and isn’t in need of any work. In addition to this, you’ll want to ensure that the car or truck is suitable for the type of land you’ll be traveling on. Highways and city roads may be suitable for any vehicles, but treacherous terrain, mountainous roads, and dusty deserts may require an SUV or 4×4.
4. Take emergency numbers with you
When you’re out on the open road, it’s important to have a list of emergency contacts with you. If your phone runs out of charge, you’ll have no way of contacting your nearest and dearest. Keep a list of numbers and people you can call in the event of an emergency, and make sure you get in touch if you require assistance or advice. As well as keeping the contact information of family members close at hand, you may also want to note down the contact numbers for your roadside assistance service, recovery companies, and insurance provider. Hopefully, you won’t need any of them while you’re on your trip, but it’s always best to be prepared.
5. Stop for gas regularly
If you live in an urban area, you’ll be used to seeing gas stations on almost every corner. When you’re taking a long-haul road trip, however, you may drive for miles without seeing any stores, gas stations or houses. Running out of gas in a deserted area is never fun, so take the opportunity to stop for gas whenever you can.
As well as filling up your tank, many gas stations have air pumps and access to water, so you can ensure that your tires are properly inflated, and your engine isn’t in danger of overheating. If you aren’t sure how to check your tires or where to add water, take the time to learn before you head off on your trip. Many automotive problems can be prevented by regular maintenance, and you’d be surprised at how easy it is to keep your car in good working order.
Remember – gas stations are the perfect place to pick up supplies for road trip, so be sure to stock up on drinks and snacks too!
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