The days are getting longer, the sun is setting later and later by the day, and it is officially hot enough to bust out all your summer clothes that have been in hiding all winter. With summer knocking on our doors, not only does this mean that the season of barbecues and late night bonfires is upon us but also the season of road trips. There’s nothing better during the summer months than packing up your car and bringing along a few friends to go explore a brand new place. I for one love road trips and have done quite a few since getting my driver’s license a few years back so for today’s blog post I’ve put together some of the most helpful tips that have come in handy to ensure that you will have the most stress free and enjoyable road trip ever this summer.
Get Your Car Prepped In Advance
No matter what kind of car you drive or how young or old it may be, road trips can take a toll on your vehicle. In order to avoid any unwanted problems along the way, be sure to take your car to a garage at least two weeks prior to departing on your road trip. This time frame will not only allow your mechanic the time to fix any problems your car may have but if there are any pieces such as a new muffler or new windshield wipers that need to be put on, you will have a sufficient amount of time to get what’s needed. Some of the things that should be checked on your car beforehand include checking your car’s fluid levels such as windshield washer and power steering fluid, brake pads, tire pressure, oil level, and anything else that could become problematic.
Come Prepared For Anything
As much as you can hope that nothing bad will happen while you’re on the road, there are just some things that are unavoidable and inevitable which is why it’s always a good idea to come prepared for just about any situation. When packing for your trip be sure to bring along items such as emergency blankets, flares, extra drinking water, a tire pressure gauge, among other important things to ensure that you will have peace of mind on the road knowing that you have what it takes to get through any given situation.
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on everything you should pack with you for a road trip.
Save Time and Money By Bringing Your Own Snacks
Let’s face it, one of the best parts of a road trip is to stop along the way and stock up on all of your favorite snacks to munch on while on you drive. The only problem with this though is that some of your only options store wise are gas stations where prices can be quite high. By packing a lunch bag or any type of bag chock full of snacks before you hit the road, not only will you save money but you’ll also save time which will only get you to your destination even faster.
A Backup Plan Is Ideal
When it comes to your form of navigation, which is helping you get to where you want to be, it’s important to always have a back up method. For example, I am someone who uses my GPS to get just about anywhere that I’m not familiar with and while it’s gotten me to where I needed to be 9 times out of 10, it has also brought me down a few wrong roads and made me take some wrong turns a handful of times so having a second form of navigation such as Google Maps or even an old fashioned map will help you figure out where you need to be heading.
Entertainment Is Key
Depending where you’ve decided to venture off to, road trips can get quite long after a while, especially if you’re the one driving. In order to not lose your mind after staring at roads and fields for hours, stock your phone up with Spotify playlists of all your favorite songs or even albums you’ve been meaning to listen to. Podcasts are also super popular nowadays and there are a bunch of different ones to choose from in just about every subject which will be sure to keep you occupied for a while. Don’t forget to also bring along a portable car charger for your phone to ensure that your entertainment will last for the entire road trip.
Get Your Things In Order
Before heading out for the open road (especially if you’re traveling out of the country) it is crucial to have all of your important documents in order and up to date to be sure that they won’t expire while you’re gone. Documents such as your passport, driver’s license, insurance papers, and any other valid form of ID should still be valid for at least a month after you come back from your road trip so if you see that either one of those will be expiring before that, get them changed to avoid any unwanted problems.
Gas Apps Will Be Your Best Friend
Unless you’re lucky enough to be driving around in a fancy electric car, fuel will no doubt be one of your biggest expenses during your road trip. To save a bit of money along the way, download gas apps such as GasBuddy to plan your refueling stops around the cheapest places that offer the best bang for your buck.
Stay Stocked Up On Small Change
Whether you like it or not, you’re more than likely to come across some pesky toll booths along your journey. Toll booths are basically places where you must pay to use a given road and though prices may vary from place to place, you are obligated to pay these fares. In order to avoid coming home from your trip with a bunch of fines from the toll booths, be sure to stock your center console or your wallet up with some loose change in order to be able to pay the tolls no matter how annoying they may be.
So there you have, some of the most useful tips and tricks to ensure that your next road trip will be as stress free and easy as possible. As mentioned above stay tuned for an ‘Ultimate Road Trip Packing List’ blog post coming your way very soon.