Road trips are a time-honored tradition in the United States and even abroad. Though Americans are far more cosmopolitan today than a generation ago, road trips remain quite popular – especially as air travel costs start to once again increase with the rising price of oil. Planning the perfect road trip is not easy.
Plan on the planning process being challenging! This article offers some time tested and practical advice to make the journey a little smoother.
Tip 1: Leave Flexibility in Your Plan
Obviously you’ll need to know when you’re starting, when you’ll be returning and generally where you’ll be going at points in between. Many families, however, overlook the basic human necessity for flexibility. A road trip is designed to allow a much higher degree of freedom than air travel can ever allow.
That freedom comes from the ability to investigate new locations and points of interest as they arise. Capitalizing on that advantage requires leaving at least some space in the itinerary to explore those avenues.
Veteran road trip travelers will frequently agree upon a certain ratio. For example a ratio of 3:1 might be employed. That means that if the trip is a total of 12 days, nine are planned but three are deliberately left open.
Tip 2: Visit At Least One Old Friend
Road trips are ideal for reaching out (literally) to friends you may not have seen in years. Because it is super convenient for an old friend to receive a visit (no trip is required on their part), such friends are likely going to be thrilled by the opportunity of a visit.
Many families on road trips will make time to visit distant family relations or in-laws. That is definitely a positive. But also consider making time to see an old friend or two along the way.
Tip 3: Get Your Car Well Serviced in Advance
Having a tire blowout or a chipped windshield is probably inevitable. But there are a platitude of other aspects of routine maintenance that if well attended to, we’ll substantially reduce the probabilities of a problem. Experiencing a vehicle problem along a road trip is certainly no fun.
Even worse, it has the potential to seriously compromise the rest of your schedule. Investing a little bit of time to service your car in advance will pay dividends down the road.
Tip 4: Invest in Quality Sunglasses
Every passenger in your car is guaranteed to absorb a massive amount of sunlight along the trip. This is especially the case if your road trip will take you across the desert or mountain West regions. But even if it doesn’t, you’ll still be absorbing more than a typical amount of sunlight.
Investing in polarized sunglasses is well worth the cost. It will not only increase the comfort level of the driver and passengers they will also improve people’s spirits because strain and fatigue will be lessened.
Tip 5: Arrange a Family Conference Call While On the Road
Chances are high that some members of your family will not be along on the road trip. It could be grandparents, older siblings, cousins, etc. In any event, there will probably be other family members anxious to hear how things are going on the road trip.
Scheduling a conference call is an intriguing solution to addressing this challenge. Rather than having multiple and repetitive one-on-one conversations, a teleconference on the fly allows the family members who are left behind to be looped in to what is going on.
These days, holding a phone conference need not cost much. In fact it need not cost anything. A number of services provide free conference calling and require simply that all participants dial in to the same number and enter the same PIN code.
A road trip can be a great way to see the outdoors, visit old friends and generate fun memories. The tips covered in this article will help ensure a great experience.