Did you know Americans are driving less, not as far, and teenagers are waiting longer than ever to get their license? The American road trip is a classic rite of passage for many, and it’s time to fall in love with it all over again. Pack your bags, grab your partner or friend if you’d like, and get ready to discover what makes the open road, the unknown, and gas station comfort food so incredible. Here are seven tips to get started:
1. Make sure the vehicles you’re driving is safe and recently serviced
Renting a car is one of the best ways to ensure a safe road trip because you don’t want a breakdown on the Great American Journey. However, if you’re taking your own vehicle, getting a full service beforehand is a must to keep you safe.
2. Get the best deals on hotels, and get creative
Check out your employee or alma mater’s hotel discount programs, consider non-traditional options like camping or car camping, and make sure wherever you stay you have the amenities you need (for some people it’s a gym, for others its RV hookups).
3. Tell someone where you’ll be each day
Whether you’re going solo or with your partner in crime, make sure someone you trust has your itinerary and check in with them on a pre-established schedule. If something goes awry, you need someone who will know where you’re supposed to be and can alert authorities in worst-case scenarios.
4. Set a budget and stick to it
All types of travel can be expensive without planning—and a budget. Be smart, do your research, and get creative when it comes to entertainment and dining along the way. Many landmarks, monuments, and destinations or free or you can score a deal when you plan ahead.
5. Have an emergency bag in the car
Emergency bags can vary based on your needs but may include a variety of solar-powered chargers, jumper cables, wind-up radios, protein bars, water, and options for self-defence (such as a tire thumper). A first-aid kit is an absolute must.
6. Be realistic about your schedule
Depending on you and your goals, set reasonable goals for daily miles and what you can fit into your schedule. Schedule downtime. A road trip is supposed to be relaxing, not a mad dash.
7. Get a separate GPS system
You don’t want to be wholly dependent on your phone for getting around. If your car doesn’t have a built-in GPS system, spring for one you can clip onto your dashboard.
Most importantly, have fun and challenge yourself to check out places you’ve never been before. Growth doesn’t happen with the familiar. What do you want to see on your road trip?
Author Bio – Trevor is a freelance writer and a self-proclaimed “Travelholic”. He enjoys traveling to parts unknown, sampling local cuisines, and sharing his experiences with the world. In his free time, you can find him planning his next trip or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.