Are you sitting in an office right now thinking about getting out on the open road and experiencing the great outdoors? The warmer weather months will be here sooner than you think, so the present is a great time to get started planning your trip. Where do you want to go this summer? Whether you’re thinking about cruising along California’s Pacific Coast Highway or going down 95 until you hit Miami, preparation is the key to success. So what should you include in your road trip planning? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Will You Be Flying Solo or Will You Have a Co-pilot? Taking a road trip by yourself can be exciting. It will force you out of your shell and allow for ample time of introspection. Plus, you won’t have to fight about the music. However, sharing your trip with a spouse, close friend, parent, sibling, or child certainly has its merits too – especially if you want to split the driving time. Just remember that you will be spending a lot of time with that individual(s), so be sure to pick someone you know you’ll get along with.
Keep Safety in Mind: eTags.com does a pretty good job here of outlining some safety best practices to ensure you get back in one piece from a long drive. Obviously buckling up and not texting rank high on the list, but there are some things you can do ahead of time too. For example, make sure to perform any routine maintenance on your vehicle, so you can rest assured that there won’t be any surprises on the road.
Set a Date and Stick to It: Before anything else, you should circle a date on the calendar to indicate when you want to go. Request off from work, book your hotels, and make it impossible to back out. Trepidation is common when planning a summer road trip, so it’s important to be mindful of this.
Plan Your Budget: When it comes to a road trip, frugality is very important. There will be a wide number of temptations along the way. Everything from expensive dinners to souvenirs at roadside truck stops could quickly lighten your wallet. Therefore, researching and writing down every planned expense beforehand can help to make sure you’re not penniless halfway through the trip.
Be Adaptable: Remember all that stuff I just wrote about having a plan? While planning is necessary, there’s nothing wrong with a little spontaneity as well. Every detour or turn off course could be a new adventure. Remember this is your road trip; make it memorable.