Remember the old horror trope where a bunch of college kids go on a road trip, and everything goes wrong?
While you probably won’t be fighting a clan of cannibals because you took a wrong turn (excuse the pun), things do go sideways if you don’t plan well.
You may end up stranded somewhere without a spare tire or enough gas, or maybe you’re strapped for cash and can’t find a phone signal.
It’s easy to miss a few things when planning a road trip. In that case, you need a list to make sure your trip doesn’t leave you with a terrible aftertaste.
Here are nine things to keep in mind when planning your next road trip.
1. Have Your Vehicle Checked
Your car needs a checkup before a long trip. The chances that your car may break down in the middle of nowhere are very real. Take the vehicle to a garage near you for a routine check and find out if it’s up for the task ahead.
An expert will examine the engine, tires, brakes, and everything else that your car needs on the road. If the vehicle is not in stellar condition, you can make other plans
It would be great to get an oil change and carry along enough fluids for your car. Check headlights to ensure that they work fine. Traveling at night may get tricky with faulty headlights.
2. Bring Snacks
A long trip can be boring without snacks. You won’t always find places to replenish your supplies on the road, either.
Get snacks that last long. And as much as we all love potato chips and chocolate bars, more nutritious snacks and drinks may come in handy when you can’t find food.
Make sure to carry enough food and drinks for everyone. Stops may not be reliable as you would think. Also, in between, you need something to keep the hunger pangs away.
3. Plan the Stops
You have a plan on where you want to go and the time you want to spend on the road. Planning stops can help minimize time wastage and keep you on the right track.
One way to plan stops is to take regular breaks at various towns along the way.
You may make stops at motels to take a nap and a shower or just to eat and use the bathroom. Checking out these places beforehand is a good idea.
4. Create a Budget
How much are you going to spend on the journey?
Figure out how much you want to spend and how it fits the kind of trip you want to have. A budget that’s too tight may stretch you thin and just make the experience difficult. You also wouldn’t want to overspend on things.
You can fit the budget by cutting costs. For instance, spend as little time as possible on your journey.
5. Maps and The Route
Have a map with you. Many people will shrug off the idea of having a physical map since there are maps on our navigation and mobile phones. However, you may lose signal or get into a hitch that might make the digital devices useless.
Learn how to use a physical map for the sake of precaution, even if you’ll never need it. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
6. Check the Weather
The weather can ruin or make your journey. You can use weather apps to ensure you don’t go on a road trip during extreme weather occurrences like a storm or a hurricane. It’s crucial to know how cold or wet it might get along the way.
Bad weather can also slow you down. It may rain too much that you may be forced to take a detour or hole up until it gets better.
7. Prepare Entertainment
Road trips are pretty long and exhausting. It would help if you came up with a plan for staying entertained. Prepare a music playlist before you start your journey.
You can have a mix for everyone to ensure that some people do not feel left out.
With good entertainment, you can take your mind and pressure off the road. You may also play fun games on the way.
8. Bring Your Meds
If you’re taking medications or supplements, bring them along and make sure you have enough for the duration of the trip. The last thing you want is to run out of vital meds in the middle of nowhere.
The same goes for first-aid kits and antibiotics, even if you don’t do meds.
If you’re into natural therapies like medical marijuana, make sure you store your stash properly to make it last. Veriheal has a detailed guide on how you can do that.
9. Carry Cash
It is vital to have some cash on you when going on a road trip. Some stops may not have places where they can accept your card. Money is easy to use when you want to buy something or even pay for gas.
Have a reasonable amount of bills ready to use where you cannot access an ATM. However, avoid carrying too much money as you may end up misusing or losing it.
A road trip is a time to let loose and enjoy life. Following a clear plan like the one above can make it even better.
Ready to hit the road with your friends or family?
Take some time to plan things carefully, and don’t forget about emergencies.