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Road Trip Ideas: Eight Tips to Make Things Run Smoother


Road trips can be a fun experience, but things rarely go quite as smoothly as you planned. You get started later than anticipated. You get ten kilometres down the road when you remember you left something important at home. Your whole family is tired and grumpy, but you cannot find a place to stay the night. Something always seems to happen, especially if you have not properly planned for your trip. Here are a few road trip ideas and tips to make your trip go smoother.

1. Make a Checklist of Things to Take Along

A few days before your road trip, start making a list of items you want to take with you. As you think of something, add it to the list. Do not leave home until you know everything on the list is in your vehicle. This way you will not find yourself several hours into your trip when you remember you forgot something important at home.

2. Keep People Properly Fed and Entertained

Part of your list should include food you plan to bring along. Music or digital books (or books-on-cd) can keep adults and teenagers entertained for a good portion of the trip. For small children, travel games work wonderfully. Even if you have brought food, you will probably want to stop to get cold drinks and warm food if for no other reason than to help you not get tired of the food already in your vehicle.

3. Make Sure Your Vehicle is in Good Condition before Leaving

When just traveling in town or near your home, a minor vehicle problem is not much of an issue. Even a minor issue, though, can become something bigger when on a road trip. To prevent yourself from getting stranded or having to cut your trip short, take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic a few days before your trip. Make sure to take it in early enough so if there are needed repairs, you will not have to postpone your road trip. Even if you have to spend money on a few repairs or some preventative maintenance, that is better than the cost of a breakdown far from home.

4. Make Sure You Have Clear Plans of Where to Stay the Night

This might not be as much of an issue if you are traveling during a non-peak time or if you plan to spend the night in your vehicle. Know of hotels or campsites along the way where you can stay. Planning for some just off the trip route or near places you want to visit can help the trip run smoother. That way you do not spend a large amount of time searching for the place. If you are planning to spend the night in a place with limited overnight accommodations, you may even want to book your accommodations early.

5. Know the Route You Plan to Take

Road trips generally include stops at several locations. Know which route is going to allow you to most effectively visit the places you want to see. It is also a good idea to plan for alternate routes. Road construction or traffic accidents can cause certain roads to be closed or to slow down traffic. GPS can help with this, but do not depend entirely upon it.

6. Keep Your Vehicle Properly Fueled

Make sure you do not allow your vehicle to get too low on petrol before filling up. You know your vehicle. You know how fast it goes through petrol. Plan accordingly. If you are going to be traveling in areas where towns are far apart, fill your tank earlier so you can avoid running out far from a petrol station.

7. Keep Your Mobile Phones Charged

Whether you have to call for help because of a flat tire, you need to report an accident, or you just need to use your phone for another reason, make sure it is charged. All adult road trip participants should make sure their phones are also charged. If you get separated at one of your stops, contacting each other quickly can help to make your trip go smoother and can get you back on the road sooner.

8. Take Plenty of Pictures

Once your road trip is over, only the memories and souvenirs will remind you of the fun you had. Pictures can be fun reminders of the trip. Take them of the good times. Take them of the times which did not go so well. The deer stopped in the road, stopping traffic from moving forward might be an annoyance at the time, but later pictures of them might serve as a funny story. If you need tips on taking pictures or you want to know other tips to make your road trip enjoyable, contact us.

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