There is nothing fun like piling everyone in a vehicle and going for an old-fashioned road trip.
The allure of the adventure and the fact that it is such an economical option as compared to a vacation. As the miles start to increase and the weariness sets in, everyone starts to feel tired and bored.
But, don’t worry. We’ve got the ultimate collection of road trip tips to make sure that you have an epic, memorable road trip with your friends or family.
Let’s dive straight in…
The Ultimate Collection of Road Trip Tips
Top tricks to make your road trip safe and memorable for the whole family.
Before you leave
Make sure you take your driving license. It’s so obvious, yet so forgettable.
Take your specs too, if you wear them for driving, and some sunglasses.
If you’re old or have a disability that affects your ability to drive, check with the hire company if they have any restrictions on people like you.
Compare quotes from different hire companies. There are a number of recognized stores in the US and they’re pretty similar in terms of cars and service, so try to get a good deal.
If you can, get your map or GPS before you leave. At least try to get directions from the car hire place to the main road!
Carry a First Aid Kit
Before you get into the driver’s seat and drive off, make sure you have a complete first aid kit with you. Make sure you have a variety of items in the kit to cover a wide range of emergencies.
With trips being so unpredictable, you need to make sure the kit is extensive enough. If you had a kit before and used some items on a previous trip, you need to find out what items are missing and you replace them.
Travel as a Group
A road trip will be very boring if you decide to go on your own. At first it may seem fun due to the freedom you feel, but with time, you start getting bored. Having a group will be more ideal because you will be able to interact and have fun.
One other thing about travelling in a group is that you will feel safer when you have other people around you. In case your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, you are less likely to be at risk of getting burgled as compared to when you are travelling alone.
Therefore, when planning a road trip, ask your friends and colleagues and plan on travelling together.
Find Something Unusual
There are many places along the road that you can make a stopover to turn your trip into an interesting one – all you need to do is find the places. Use the billboards on the roadside or use a search engine to find any attractions along your route.
Find a way to incorporate the site into your trip so that you have something to talk about many years to come. Additionally, most of these attractions are normally near the highway and inexpensive. These locations may also serve as educational stopovers for the children especially when they represent landmarks that are a part of history.
Add an Element of Safari to the Trip
Major highways have one or more wildlife attractions located near the highway. It would be a nice experience to see animals you have not seen before in your life. It will also be a lovely surprise for the kids to see some wild animals for the first time in their life. After a long and tedious journey, it is usually nice to just glide through a park so that you and the rest of the group can have a welcome distraction.
Leave Details Behind
Most of the time you find that the apprehension of going on a long road trip makes you forget the most important thing about any journey – safety. One way that you can be sure of help when something happens is by telling someone else about your travel plans. If you are not at a specific place after a given period of time, the person will let the authorities know. It is also good to let someone know by calling every time you reach a given place.
Learn Some Road Trip Games
There are several games that have been invented both for the adults and the young. These road games are not only for entertaining the travellers but also to keep everyone alert. Some of these games include “I Spy” which involves clues and guesses. Such games will keep everyone engaged and entertained for a long period of time.
Carry Some Snacks
If the journey is long, getting cranky is easy especially for the young ones. This usually happens due to hunger. Well, you can tackle this problem by carrying snacks of various types for the children as well as adults. Make sure these snacks are appropriate, fun and delicious for everyone that is on the trip.
Also have snacks that are specific for a particular type of condition suffered by any member of the group. This applies for people suffering from conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and ulcers.
Choose Quiet Rest Stops
Along the way, you need to stop time and again to rest. When choosing ideal places for stopovers, consider quiet rest stops especially if you have children in the group. Such stops will offer you a more relaxed environment to sit and cool off the hassle of the journey.
Additionally, the children will have enough space to run around before getting into the car for the second stretch of the trip.
Bring Great Music or Audio Books with You
Every road trip needs some music. You need to sit down and find out what every member of the group likes in terms of music and collect enough last the whole trip. Many people who have been on road trips can remember what happened on the trip when a particular song plays on the stereo.
It is also advisable for you to get sing-along music that all of you can join in and sing. You can also get some audio books especially for the little ones.
Double Check Your Vehicle
The vehicle is what will make or break the trip. Make sure the vehicle is spacious enough to hold all the travellers and in a condition to move long distances. You can have a mechanic to double check everything just to be on the safe side. If you have any doubts about the car, you can go ahead and rent one for the trip. When it comes to such a situation, you need to work with a reliable car rental service.
Here are the top features to consider in a vehicle when taking a road trip:
Whether a fan of driving an SUV or wanting to ride in a sedan, there are a few features that are important when driving through different climates and various environments. Depending on individual preference, these features to be helpful during a road trip.
- Halogen Headlights
- Integrated Fog Lights
- Privacy Windows Featured in Rear Sides and Back of Vehicle
The most important thing I am looking for when on a road trip is to be comfortable for consecutive hours at a time. This means I need room to store all my gadgets, maps and snacks within close proximity to reach when needed. Also, breathing in fresh air, singing to the top of my lungs and knowing which direction I’m headed tops my list.
So while most of these popular features are optional, they sure do make the road trip more enjoyable.
- Dual Zone Automatic Climate Control with AC and Heat
- Sterio System with USB port and iPod Connectivity
- Sunroof or Moonroof
- Dashboard Navigation System
- Power door locks and Power Windows
- Auxillary Power Outlets
- Cruise Control
- Cup Holders, Cargo Space and Overhead-and-Center Consoles
Related Read: Tips for Sleeping in Your Car
As long as you can get from point A to point B shouldn’t be your only worry, having a high-performing and safe vehicle is very important to consider before going on a road trip. Make sure the vehicle’s breaks work, engine is tuned-up and any other mechanical specs are up to par before hitting the open road.
But besides the standard performance of the vehicle, these features make the road trip more conveniant and safe.
- Rear Parking Assist Sonar
- Daytime Running Lights
- Advance Airbag System
- Tire Pressure Monitor System
The do’s and don’ts of road trip safety
Aside from choosing the right tunes to play on the radio, staying safe on your road trip is vital to having a trip that will make the memory books.
Follow these road trip tips for safety do’s and don’ts before your wheels hit the pavement!
- DO try to blend in. There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist, but being confident is one of the top theft deterrents, so trying to blend in like a local allows you to exude just that. Don’t leave maps out in plain sight, and if you need to consult one while walking around town, do it discreetly. Follow up our guidelines of how to avoid pickpockets.
- DON’T try to reach the next gas station when you’re at a quarter tank. If you’re not familiar with the route, don’t risk it! Being stalled out on the side of the road with no gas and maybe even a lack of cell phone reception is certainly a safety risk.
- DO look at your backseat when you get into your car. We hope your road trip will only be a happy one, but crimes do happen. Take a look in your backseat to make sure no one has stowed themselves inside, ready to take control of your car when you put the key in the ignition.
- DON’T keep washer fluid or hard objects in your backseat. If you’re going 45 mph and need to stop suddenly, you can imagine how any fluids, toys, or books are going to fly around your car. Harmful fluids can even open and spill. Keep it neat and trim for you and your passengers’ safety.
- DO stash an emergency kit in your car. The old adage about being safe than sorry always rings true. Keep a box in your car filled with water, snacks, a flashlight, a warm blanket, flares, a first-aid kit, and jumper cables if your battery dies.
- DON’T stay on the first floor of a motel. It may be easier to carry your luggage in to a room on the first floor after a long day of driving, but it’s also easier for thieves to break into your room. Even better – get a room facing the parking lot so you can keep an eye on your vehicle. Read all about the difference between a motel and a hotel.
Road trips are a rite of passage and are often unforgettable adventures, but it’s important to keep an eye on your personal safety and security while traveling on the open road. Use your common sense, and if a situation or area doesn’t feel right, go with your gut and get out of it!
Travelling is not easy especially when you have children in tow. You need to make sure you meet the demands of both the young and the mature so that you can make the trip amazing. Use the above road trip tips to make your road trip safe and memorable.