You and I both know that when you’re in the mood for a road trip, you just want to just grab the keys and go. While that may be adventurous, it isn’t exactly the smartest or safest thing to do.
Careful planning can not only make your road trip more fun and exciting, but it can also save your life in some cases. Let’s go over four tips you should know before setting out on your next road trip.
Deciding Who to Take with You
Road trips are always more fun and safer when you’ve got friends and/or family with you. However, this doesn’t mean that you should choose your companions haphazardly.
For one thing, it is a good idea to bring people along that will be able to carry their weight financially or you could be stuck paying for their food and lodging. And don’t even think about getting help paying for the gas if you choose the wrong people.
Another thing to consider when choosing road trip companions is how well you get along with them over long periods of time. There are some people that are great in small doses but having to put up with them 24/7 for several days might be pushing things.
And since this is a road trip after all, it’s not like you can get rid of them easily if there is a problem since kicking them out of the car and putting them on a bus home could damage your friendship.
Bringing Safety Equipment
I know you might be scoffing at this, but you don’t want to get stuck in a bad situation without the right equipment to protect or care for yourself.
At a minimum, you should have a GPS. This could be built into your car or on your phone. It can even be a separate navigation unit.
Having more than one source of GPS, such as having multiple phones with it, can be a good idea as well since you’ll have a backup if something goes wrong.
Speaking of phones, make sure that you have a way to charge them in the car or bring spare batteries. If there is an emergency, you need to have a way to call for help.
This being the case, you may also want to check how your service provider’s coverage works along the path you’ll be taking so that you don’t get stuck in an area with no service.
Also, bring a first aid kit. Accidents happen and when they do you want to be prepared. First aid kits are very cheap but can be life savers in the right situation.
If you want to take a form of protection with you, such as a stun gun, pepper spray, or firearm, you’ll need to check the laws that apply in the states or provinces you’ll be visiting.
If you don’t plan to leave your own state or province, you’ll still want to make sure that you’re following the law, or your road trip could end with you being arrested.
Plan Your Route and Stops
Sure, it can be adventurous to just hit the road and drive wherever to do whatever, but that can very quickly get boring and can be unsafe in general since you won’t be able to tell your friends and family where you’re going.
Instead, have a good idea of where you want to go and how to get there. Just because the trip is supposed to be more fun than the destination, doesn’t mean the destination has to be boring.
Also, don’t forget to plan how you’re going to get back. This is a step that many people forget about and a mistake that I made on my first road trip. I ended up spending twice as much on gas, food, and lodging just because I forgot something this simple.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to get back home the same way you got to your destination. For example, you could take a road trip to Vegas and then fly home.
As for your car, you could hire a company that ships cars to deliver your vehicle back to your home or a convenient pickup location. Let’s be honest, the trip home isn’t as fun as the trip to your destination, so this really makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
We touched on this a bit earlier, but you’d be surprised how fast expenses can get out of hand if you don’t plan for them. Take food for example.
You might be surprised to find out that the cost is more expensive in certain areas when you make stops for food than in others.
Knowing ahead of time where you’re going to get your food and gas from as well as booking your lodgings before you get there can help you to save a lot of money.
It’s also a good idea to work out who will be paying for what among the people who are going with you.
You don’t want to get into an argument over money when you’re on the road, so make sure that everyone knows what they’ll be paying for ahead of time.
Staying Smart Means Staying Safe
When it comes to road trips, the more thought and planning you put into them, the better time you and your companions will have.
Not only will you have greater peace of mind knowing that your trip will be safer, but you also won’t have to worry over money if you’ve already budgeted accordingly.
The next time you get the urge to hit the road, make sure that you take the appropriate amount of time to plan things out before you take off so that you can create some amazing memories without any worries.