Road trip planning, when done right, can turn your trip into an adventure of lifetime that you will always cherish in your memory. But, if you have not planned it properly in advance, or worse, have done it the wrong way, your trip can turn into a nightmare, enriching you with an experience that you will never forget because it would be your ‘lesson’ for a lifetime. Following are the ten commandments that you should always work on before you embark on a road trip.
Get Your Vehicle Ready For The Trip
Your vehicle is obviously the most important part of a road trip. If you have not prepared it thoroughly for the adventure, you may end up getting stuck on the side of the road at a place that is miles away from a gas station and where no help is available.
Therefore, before you start working on what you will wear, what you will eat and which places you are going to visit during the trip, you should work on to get your vehicle ready, such as by having the oil changed and the tank full. Likewise, when it comes to road trip planning, you must always have all the documents up-to-date and available in the car, such as your insurance and registration papers and your driver’s license. Always remember, traffic officials often do not entertain excuses like ‘I’ve forgot the papers at home’.
Bring Paper Maps Even If You Have A Cell Phone Or GPS
The problem with cell phones and GPS devices is that they are not very reliable. What will you do if there are no signals, the battery power is low, or worse, the device has broken down? Besides that, it takes time before the GPS gets updated, which means it is possible that your GPS will allow you to take a road that has recently been closed. On the other hand, paper maps (the latest ones) are always trustworthy. You do not even have to purchase them, as these maps are available for free download over Internet.
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Choose Your Companions For The Trip Carefully
You do not want someone who usually irritates the crap out of you to accompany you during the trip. Good companionship is very important to make your trip fun and memorable. Therefore, while you are working on your road trip planning, you should also spend quality time to decide who else are going with you; they should be someone you love to spend time with. When you are together with them on a long trip, it will also provide you a wonderful opportunity to know them better.
Bring Your Own Snacks And Drinks
It is true that you can buy them at gas stops, but such food stores do not provide many options. You may not be able to find something deliciously nutritious out there. Therefore, if you have planned the trip in a way that requires you to spend plenty of hours in your car, you are strongly recommended to bring your own food and drinks, such as fruits, pre-made sandwiches, crackers, juice boxes, cans of pop, other travel friendly snacks, and obviously, water bottles.
Pack Up Your Bags With Lots Of Music
Music is another important element to consider for road trip planning. A road trip without music is like food without salt. Make sure there are lots of ample back up music in your bags. Bring more music than you will probably be able to listen to. You can decide about your music themes on the basis of the destinations you are going to travel. If you are traveling with someone you love, you can create some sweet memories for you by turning the music on and signing along at the top of your lungs.
Don’t You Want To Look Back On Your Adventure? Bring Your Camera
Do not forget to bring your camera on a road trip. The camera allows you to capture the fun and adventure you experience in the form of pictures. However, a nice way to add more fun to your trip is to take the pictures using your cell phone and then share the same instantly on Facebook; this way, you can allow your social networking friends to see the fun as it happens.
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Bring Sunscreen And Sunglasses
While you are busy with your road trip planning, you should also consider bringing sunscreen and sunglasses because you are very much likely to be staring into the sun while you are driving for long hours. Skin cancer is on the rise and sunscreen is a good precaution. Besides that, sunscreen also prevents one half of your body from developing embarrassing sunburns. Likewise, you can prevent eye strain and squinting by using sunglasses.
Choose Versatile Clothing For The Trip
Versatile clothing is the best choice for road trips because it makes it easy for you to dress in layers. Depending upon the places you have decided to visit during the trip, you may have to face too cold or too hot weather. When you are using versatile clothing, you can easily add or subtract layers accordingly. For example, some of the clothes that you must pack include flip flops, light jacket, t-shirt and sweat pants. Besides that, if you love swimming or sunbath near the beaches, you should not forget to pack your shorts or bathing suit as well.
First-Aid Kit Is A Must
Accidents happen. You cannot foresee everything beforehand, but you can definitely make preparations to deal with injuries. Therefore, make sure you have a first-aid kit always available in your vehicle. You can purchase the same from drug or discount stores. The kit must include at least the very basic things, such as triple antibiotic cream, bandages, gauze and scissor.
Do Not Forget Garbage Bags
During a road trip, you are very much likely to spend plenty of hours in your car, where you will be eating and drinking also. Where are you going to throw all the wrappers, empty bottles and waste materials? You definitely cannot throw it on the road, and if you are throwing it inside your vehicle, it will soon become a mess and you will hate to remain inside. Therefore, you are also advised to bring a small garbage bag with you to ensure a de-cluttered, well organized road trip.
Overall, if you follow the above ten commandments of road trip planning, you will definitely be having a safe and memorable experience, full of fun and adventure.