There is nothing more Americana than a classic road trip. Not only does hitting the open road provide the most economical type of travel, but it also lends itself naturally to the opportunity to experience the adventure of a lifetime. Here are four tips to ensure that you have the ultimate road trip journey:
Before anything else, you must make sure that your vehicle is equipped with the proper equipment and tools to ensure safety in any driving condition. Take care to confirm that your car is ready to handle the rigors of the drive by taking it for a tune-up prior to the trip. Items that you want to make sure you have along with you for the ride include jumper cables, flares, a first aid kit, and an extra set of keys. It also a good idea to sign up for a roadside assistance plan before embarking on your trip. These services can prove to be invaluable should you run into any challenges while out on the road.
Because distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents, it is also imperative that you have enough drivers to handle the responsibilities of the road. All drivers should understand the importance of not texting while driving or operating the vehicle under the influence. Having the ability to trade off driving responsibilities will also ensure that all drivers will remain rested and ready to drive safely.
Set Destinations but Be Flexible
Although it is a good idea to have a few set destinations to help guide your travels, it is also important to build in enough flexibility in your trip to encourage spontaneity. Half of the fun of a road trip is not knowing exactly where the road will take you next. Once you know your anchor destinations and your return date, you can take a more relaxed approach to the rest of the trip. Approaching your journey with an open mind will naturally enable new and different experiences with people and places you never thought possible.
One thing that should be set in stone is the budget. Current gas calculators even make it easy to estimate gasoline costs all throughout your travels. Be sure to check maps in advance if you want to avoid costly road tolls. It is also a good idea to avoid potential trouble spots by knowing when the rush hours are if you plan to travel through any large metropolitan areas. Avoiding these traffic jams will make for a more relaxed and enjoyable trip for both the driver and all of the passengers. Do not be intimidated to get off of the interstates. Some of the most interesting experiences you will have will be found on backroads. That said, having an escape route in place should the back road not meet all of your expectations is always a good idea.
Engage with Locals
In today’s increasingly wired world, it is easier than ever to access a wealth of reviews when out on the road. Although there is certainly value in having all of this information right at your fingertips, it is also recommended to tap into the minds of the locals for the very best in restaurant and activities recommendations. Asking your hotel desk worker for their favorite local restaurant will likely provide a better experience than simply going to a mass-produced review site.
Taking a tour with a local guide is also an ideal way to learn about the area. Not only will these guides provide the most knowledge about the tour with their passionate insider information, but they also can help you to connect with other locals. Chatting with shop owners and bartenders can open you up to new experiences. You never know where a simple question may lead, so do not be afraid to embrace the local culture and connect with those around you.
Invest in a National Park Pass
Regardless of where your travels may take you, do not ignore the siren call of the country’s many national parks. With an annual pass, you can pop into any of these parks at no extra cost to you. The majesty and uniqueness of these parks cannot be overstated. Do not miss this chance to experience their splendor along the way.
These national parks are also an ideal place to stay. Many national park areas boast incredibly appointed cabins available to rent. If you do not mind roughing it, these parks provide an excellent opportunity for camping underneath the stars. Basic hygiene facilities are generally well-maintained within the national parks system.
The rite of passage of a road trip is an ideal vacation for people of all ages and genders. With a little research and planning, you can ensure that your road trip will be the journey of a lifetime.
Preparing for you grand road trip? Check out this article about The Ultimate Packing List!