Summer is the perfect time to hit the open road and embark on an exciting road trip. Whether traveling with family, friends, or solo, road trips are a great way to see the country in a way you wouldn’t if you were to fly or take a train. Here are some essential tips to help you plan the ultimate road trip this summer.
1. Choose Your Destination
The first step in planning a road trip is deciding where you want to go. With countless options available, consider your interests, budget, and trip duration. If you’re interested in architecture, consider somewhere like St. Louis, MO, home to the iconic Gateway Arch. Research attractions, landmarks, and activities at your chosen destination to make the most of your trip.
2. Plan Your Route
Once you’ve determined your destination, it’s time to figure out your route. Use reliable navigation tools like Google Maps or GPS devices to map out the most efficient and scenic route. Consider any stops or detours you want to make to break up the drive and explore interesting places. Plan ahead and check road conditions before you leave, as potential construction or closures may throw off your journey.
3. Prepare Your Vehicle
Your vehicle needs to be in top condition before you hit the road. Schedule a thorough inspection with a trusted mechanic to check the brakes, tires, engine, and other essential components. It’s crucial to have a spare tire, jack, and emergency kit on board in case of unforeseen circumstances. Regularly check the fluid levels and perform any necessary maintenance to keep your car running smoothly throughout the trip, as long drives can take a toll on cars.
4. Pack Smart
Make a checklist of everything you’ll need, including clothing, toiletries, medications, and necessary documents. Consider the weather conditions and activities you’ll engage in to pack accordingly. Optimize your space using packing cubes or compression bags to maximize your storage capacity, especially if traveling with a big group. Resist the temptation to overpack, as you’ll likely end up with things you don’t need that will take up unnecessary space. Also, bring entertainment options, such as books, games, or music, to make the journey enjoyable for everyone.
5. Stay Safe on the Road
Always prioritize safety. Follow all traffic laws and be mindful of your surroundings. Don’t let your guard down, as, according to MotorBiscuit, 20% of car accidents happen in parking lots and garages. Take regular breaks to rest, stretch, prevent fatigue, and avoid distracted driving by keeping your phone out of reach or using hands-free devices. Take turns with the other drivers so one person isn’t responsible for the entire trip.
6. Plan Accommodations and Activities
To ensure a smooth trip, plan your accommodations and activities. Research and book hotels, campgrounds, or other accommodations along your route to avoid any last-minute hassles. Look for attractions, museums, parks, or outdoor activities at your destination that align with your interests. Make reservations in advance for popular attractions or events to secure your spot so that you’re not traveling for hours to get somewhere too busy to enter. However, leave room for spontaneity and flexibility in your itinerary to embrace unexpected adventures.
7. Check for Hospitals and Emergency Facilities en Route
Nobody plans on getting sick or hurt, but you’re more likely to get hurt when you’re exploring and doing physical activities like hiking, boating, etc. If you’re traveling with family and have children with you, find out about pediatric facilities en route, as over 85% of children needing emergency care go to general emergency departments, which care for children and adults.
There are many things to consider when planning a summer road trip. From choosing the perfect destination to figuring out fun things to do along the way, follow these simple guidelines, and you’ll have an unforgettable experience.