Top Ten Tips for a Road Trip
Later this afternoon, my hubby and I are leaving on a road trip to Colorado. This will be the first time that we've hit the road together, just us no kids, for quite some time.
So I figured I should look up some road trip tips to help us out with our mini vacation.
SmarterTravel.com had a Top Ten (and a half) list that was helpful.
- Clean Your Car Before and During Your Trip - I can't stand a messy car, so I didn't have that much work to do to get our car clean for the trip. But if you have a collection of fast-food wrappers or water/pop bottles in your car, you may want to throw them out before leaving. Once on the road, the garbage will only start to pile up. Add that to what you already had, gross. I suggest cleaning the car out every, or every other time you gas up.
- Check Your Vehicle - About a week before you leave, have your mechanic give your car a once over. Have them check your car's fluid level's, tires, brakes, and anything else that could cause you problems on the road. Also make your spare tire is fully aired up, have jumper cables on hand too.
- Have a Loose Plan - Road delays and construction are one thing. It's bound to happen, just look at all the road construction around here. But if you're a bit a of an over-planner with no wiggle room, you may be looking a Griswold family kinda trip. Plans are good, just not TOO much of one.
- Get Off The Highways (But Beware the Blue Highways) - If you're on a super tight schedule, back roads are not for you. However, they are a good way to see the country. Just avoid "blue highways" that are nothing more than endless strip malls. Most of us are using the Maps/Navigation apps on our phone to give us directions, but newer roadmaps are using red dots to indicate back roads routes that they recommend. Plus sometimes the scenic route is just better.
- ....Have an Escape Plan to Exit Country Roads - Sometimes the speed limits on the backs roads aren't anything more than 35 MPH, which can make you arrive at your destination longer than need be. Plus, one can never predict when nature is gonna call. Knowing how to get back to the highway isn't a bad idea.
- Anticipate Trouble Spots - No one wants to get stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time. Smarter Travel's example of this was "trying to cross the Hudson River at rush hour, or driving the long bridges to Key West on the Friday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend. You’ll want to plan ahead so you cross the Hudson at, say, 10:30 a.m., or blast down to Key West on a Thursday."
- Preload Your Phone with Entertainment Options - Since radio is my job, I enjoy hearing what other areas have to offer in entertainment on the airwaves. But since our friend who we're going to visit tells me the radio stations in his area aren't that great, I'm glad to have The Eagle's app on my phone. I can see myself checking up on some of my podcasts as well.
- Tend to Division of Labor - Share the load. If you're a better driver than some of the other passengers, do a bit more of the driving. If your sense of direction is better than others, you make sure you're not getting lost.
- Join a Roadside Rescue Service - Getting stranded on the side of the road sucks! Especially if you are very far from home. If you already have this through your insurance, have any numbers you would need to call handy. If you don't have roadside assistance through your insurance, get it before you leave.
- Have Your Documents and a Clean Record - If you're unable to print your insurance cards out to make sure they're current, ask your company in advance for the most current cards with your plan. Also, it wouldn't hurt to double check your driving history. Clear up anything outstanding. It would suck to have your car impounded for something like a traffic/parking ticket.
Now I didn't find their half tip all that helpful, so I have one of my own:
- Use a Gas Estimator - These website's give you an idea of what you can aspect to pay for gas on your trip. You enter your starting and ending destination and they give you an estimate of what you'll pay in gas and tolls. I used Toll Guru and Fuel Economy Trip Calculator.
Looking up the weather for your destination can also help you pack. Happy Trails, See You Soon!!