There’s nothing quite like hitting the open road with nothing but a dream and the wind through your hair. During the pandemic, road trips were the quintessential way to see the world, and it seems like post-pandemic travel will include it in some fashion, so it’s important to get it right!
10 Tips for Planning Your Very First Road Trip
Taking a trip across America is bound to be filled with exciting adventures, but you have to plan ahead. Otherwise, you won’t have enough time to see everything.
Here are some other tips.
1. Make Sure You Have Good Car Insurance
Any time you drive out-of-state, you’ll need to upgrade your car insurance in the state you currently reside. Here’s a list of the cheapest car insurance companies in Georgia, but you can find similar lists for other states. Don’t forget to also schedule a full tune-up before the trip.
2. Pack an Emergency Road Tripping Kit
If you schedule a full tune-up, you’re less likely to suffer from common road trip mishaps, but you should still be prepared for when they do. Be sure to pack an emergency road trip kit that includes a flashlight, tire pressure gauge, jumper cables, a car battery, and a first-aid kit.
3. Be Sure to Learn How to Change a Flat Tire
Changing a flat tire is easy, but the last thing you want to do is learn on the fly. Depending on where you stopped, you may not have a way to call for help. With that said, pack a changing kit, even if you’re driving a rental because many cars don’t come with a fully inflated spare tire.
4. Study the Perfect USA Road Trip Map
If you’re taking your road trip across America, you should study the Perfect USA Road Trip Map by Randy Olson. It takes about 2 to 3 months to realistically cover the 13,699 miles this road trip map expects drivers to cover, but it passes through 48 states and 50 US national landmarks.
5. Plan Everything to Cut Down on Spontaneity
There’s nothing wrong with exploring a few cities and towns, but if you make a habit out of it, you’ll quickly run out of time. It’s better to plan your trip in advance, so you can make room for spontaneity. Your time and budget constraints should be what dictates your road trip route.
6. Get Your Home in Order Before the Trip
Your house is going to be empty for a while, but you shouldn’t advertise it to the neighborhood. Make sure you hire someone to check your mail, water your plants, mow the lawn, and watch your pets. Purchase a home security system if you want to invest in some extra protection.
7. Download a Few Road Trip Applications
To avoid paying high data charges, use your home’s Wi-Fi to download every entertainment, travel, or road trip app you need before the trip. If you want to use data-heavy apps like Spotify, Facebook, or Netflix, go into the apps setting and put a cap on the amount of data they can use.
8. Bring a Cooler With Snacks and Drinks
You’re going to pass plenty of fast food places, gas stations, and convenience stores along the way, but it’s still good to have a store of snacks or drinks available when you need them. You’re also in for an upset stomach if you eat too much greasy food, so pack water and healthy treats.
9. Stay Clean and Organized During the Trip
Even if you plan on staying in a hotel or AirB&B, you’ll still be living out of your car for most of the trip. If you’re eating inside your vehicle, things are going to get messy really quickly, so pack paper towels, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and backseat organizers to store everything.
10. Stop the Car Frequently to Stretch Your Legs
Sitting in one place for too long can cause significant health problems later in life. It’s not healthy to skip your exercise routine to save time. It’s recommended to stop every hour to stretch your legs and take a 30-minute break for every 4 hours of driving. This practice can help fight fatigue.