The classic American road trip is still alive and well! Now that school’s out, thousands of teachers will take to the roads each summer and explore our beautiful country. The “on the road” experience – jumping into a car and seeing where life takes you – is still very popular, as many Americans would rather drive as opposed to fly.
If you are thinking about going on a road trip, it can be difficult knowing where to get started, however, we have put together five tips to get you off in the right direction (no pun intended!)
#1: Pick a Suitable Vehicle
Depending on where you are going, a small car may not cut it. If you are visiting harsher environments or mountainous areas, you would definitely fare better in a vehicle which has a bit of power behind it.
With gas rates on par with diesel, many are opting for diesel-fueled vehicles for country-wide road trips as they are more reliable, and you never know when you’re going to get into a sticky situation and may need to power through some unexpected terrain. Websites such as Black Smoke Media provide excellent coverage of diesel cars which can help you make a decision.
#2: Don’t Over Plan
The beauty of a road trip is that it is dynamic and spontaneous; you don’t want to ruin this by planning everything down to the fine details. To properly explore the country and get the true road trip experience, you should avoid being too organized.
Have a loose plan but don’t over-do it.
#3: Prepare for No Data Coverage
You may be surprised to learn that not everywhere in the country has excellent data coverage, so plan for this accordingly.
You can download data from Google Maps to your phone which enables you to use it offline, which could be your saving grace should you get lost! It’s also a good idea to pre-load your phone or devices with music, TV shows and other entertainment which you can watch during your downtime.
#4: Take Your Documentation
Travelling without up-to-date licenses and documentation is just asking for trouble, especially if you were to be pulled over by the police. Keep all your important documents to hand in your glovebox and make sure they are all valid and in-date.
Also, ensure your record is clean (yes – that means paying all your parking tickets off!)
#5: Research Smaller Towns
Although we have said you shouldn’t be planning right down to the very finer points of your trip, you should still research any smaller towns or cities you are unfamiliar with or have never heard of.
Trouble spots are common around the more rural parts of the U.S. and you want to avoid these places at all costs. These somewhat “lawless” towns which aren’t very welcoming of travelers – even U.S. ones – aren’t just something from the movies.
Road trips are more popular than ever so a little forward planning can make the difference between a good summer road trip and bad one.