Can any summer really be considered complete until you've enjoyed at least one road trip in the company of family or good friends? There's just something about the experience of hitting the open road that makes the journey just as much fun as the time you'll spend at your destination. However, there's definitely a fine art to making sure your road trips are enjoyable and hassle-free. Here's how you can make sure yours are everything you want them to be.
Have Your Car Serviced
Nothing puts a damper on a potentially wonderful road trip quite like surprise car trouble. Of course, you won't be able to avoid every possible mishap and unexpected occurrence, but a little preparedness goes a really long way. Consider having your car fully serviced and checked a week or two before you're due to leave so any potential problems can be taken care of first. Double check to make sure all your emergency supplies are present and accounted for as well. Think jumper cables, extra fluid for your windshield wipers, a jack, and a good spare tire!
Come Up With a Tentative Plan
The secret to a truly awesome road trip is to plan ahead, but not too much. Definitely spend some quality time with a detailed road map before you hit the highway so that you have a good idea of where you're going and how long it will take you to get there. If you'll be on the road for multiple days, figure out where you'll be stopping each night and make reservations in advance. If there are special attractions you want to be sure you hit along the way, plan those stops in advance as well, but make sure you have a Plan B in place should anything you really want to do turn out to be a no-go for any reason. However, you'll want to avoid making your itinerary so strict that you won't have time to wander a little or take advantage of the unexpected little opportunities that can make road trips so special.
Make Safety a Priority
Yes, road trips are supposed to be about fun, but safety should always be your number one priority any time you're behind the wheel. Always wear your seat belt and make sure any passengers riding with you wear theirs. Get familiar with the local traffic laws in each state you'll be driving through and make a list of infractions you'll want to be aware of for each in case you need to refer back to it at any point. Also, avoid distracted driving at all times. Keep your phone powered down or hidden away in your purse or glove compartment while you're driving so you're not tempted to check it. Don't eat, drink, groom yourself, or talk too much while driving either.
As you can see, planning an amazing road trip is all about knowing when to plan and when to just go with the flow and enjoy the experience. Where will your travels be taking you this summer, and how do you plan on making it a trip to remember?