10 Steps to a Successful Road Trip
"To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live."
- Hans Christian Andersen -
Knowing how to drive a car will allow you to enjoy one of the most memorable vacation experiences, the road trip. The road trip is a general phrase that describes a long-distance journey made in a vehicle for pleasure. Road trips take a little preparation and here are some tips to make them more successful.
If You have places in mind that always was on your bucket list then, it's a start right there, but if only an idea of the road trip for years was sitting in your head and drilling a hole, then look for the inspiration in Social media, Pinterest or Google area around, and find parks, towns, lakes, museums, whatever makes you happy, but miles and miles away. After finalizing all points of interest, a good time to bring out a road map and start to mark every attraction on the way to the final destination. Keep in mind that in days of the pandemic, a very important part of planning the trip is to check places and main attractions for the subject of quarantine closure, locked down, mandatory isolation period and correct the trip accordingly by avoiding unnecessary holding backs.
When plotting the route, give yourself some extra time for detours to see more of the sights on the road while still allowing room for special, spontaneous moments. Approximately 5 hours a day it's a good, relaxing pace of driving to have it all.
Once we have a picture of where we going, what we would like to see, activities to have, or how long our trip will take, then it's time for budgeting.
Calculating the budget includes several steps: 1) car preparation and gas cost 2) list of main and secondary priorities of the trip 3) accommodation and parking cost 4) food and drinks cost 5) unforeseen expenses and additional activities.
Note: do not round up costs to a smaller end, give it a bit of stretch, you always can bring it back.
Go through the entire trip, and answer yourself some questions, what distance you would like to cover daily, what things you want to see, places to visit, and mark sleepover stops on the map. By using some trusted applications like Booking.com get information regarding hotels and availability of the rooms, prices, special COVID 19 restrictions, and most important their cancelation policies.
Even though dining is not something that you need to plan by hours, but it's always a good idea to check if there any coffee shops or restaurants on the way and what distance between them, do they open during quarantine or not.
4. Gas stations mapping
The crucial part of every road trip is to get moving, and Gas in the tank will help it a lot.
Find every gas station on your way and put the mark on the map. Gas stations its a place, apart from a filing tank, a spot where you can use a restroom, have some snacks, refill water supply, get a more detailed map, or even information about attractions around.
5. Car preparation
Take your car in for an inspection at least 7 days before the road trip, if any things need to be tightened up or fix, better do it before you head the road.
Here is the quick checklist to get car road trip ready:
- Check all lights and features on the car are functioning correctly
- Check oil, water, and tire pressure
- Check the washer and brake fluid
- Check the air filter, windscreen wipers, and spark plugs
- Check the coolant
- Check you have the spare tire and changing tools
- Ensure you have a spare key and the owner’s manual
- Wash the car in and out
Even if you are not leaving a country it's very important to have a passport on you.
Don’t forget to take a road map, despite having a smartphone with thousands of apps. if a cell phone or GPS goes dead, that map can rescue, besides, all above marks and checks of accommodations, gas stations, attractions and so, has to go on the paper road map as it goes on a digital copy, as every experienced traveler say, "better be save then sorry". Also make sure you don’t drive off without a driving license, car registration, and having organized travel insurance.
Note: always carry important documents with you, no exception.
Travel by air or by car, has no difference, pack wisely, do not overpack, use travel size containers, and so, if you would like to read more about tips on packing a suitcase it will be over here, however, few things still can be different due to baggage allowance freedom, take some blankets, few sweatshirts, warm socks, head cover, something that will keep you warm in case of a sudden emergency or, what is more likely, spontaneous, overnight stay under the stars to enjoy the sound of night and a crackling campfire.
The nice thing about any adventure, it how appetite builds up, and moments of satisfying that appetite, right on the spot, just priceless. Prepare food and snacks the way you like, whatever gives you complete happiness and joy, grab it. Always have a water supply in the car, but do not drain it to the last drop, with every opportunity in the gas stations or supermarkets on the road, refill your water provision. Have some energy snacks such as nuts, dry fruits, trail mixes, fruits, or chocolate bars.
By going far make sure to have a mini cooler with you, it definitely gonna keep club sandwiches fresh and water cold.
9. Gas-out Gas
As important for you to have an untouchable little water supply, make sure to have some extra gas for your car, for emergency use only. A 10-liter canister will provide enough gasoline to make it to the closest gas station, truck parking, or any other facilities that help you keep rolling.
Last but not least, besides all the awesome and scenic parts you will be driving through, take care of a good playlist, to spike the excitement of a road trip to the roof. Our brain works in so many weird ways, and to feel happy not always necessary to listen to happy songs, it can be classic, cheerful, aggressive, or sad music that strikes directly to the heart .... have it all with you for a cry-laughing experience.
Remember! that Happiness is a journey, not a destination, take most out of the freedom you getting on the road, no rush, you in control, look around, look inside yourself. Stop from time to time, have a break, stretch the muscles, breath, smile, set improvised picnic and enjoyed that wild appetite you'll have, if passing lake, jump and swim, driving by mountains, go for a hike ...there are no set rules on a perfect road trip, use imagination, follow your desires and peace will come within.
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Have a Great Adventure!