One of the ultimate joys in life is an amazing road trip with family or friends. On the open road, there are no deadlines, conference calls, or tight schedules. Instead, the road ahead offers adventure and discovery. While you fantasize about your road trip to end all road trips, how can you set up your journey for greatness and have the best road trip ever? Here are our do’s and don’ts for a successful car trip.
DO: Plan Your Route
While some aspects of a flawless road trip are spontaneous and only stumbled upon while on the journey, it helps to have a rough plan for the route that you’re taking. This can minimize getting lost or really off track and will help you to plan accommodations along the way. It will also give you the ability to scope out potential opportunities for breaks for washrooms, meals, exploration, or a good stretch.
DO: Plan for Fun
Create a rockin’ playlist, look up some car games, grab lots of snacks, and depending your route, make sure you have a day bag of swimsuits, sunscreen, and a change of shoes or outfit readily available. Not only will these things make the journey more fun, but believe it or not, can actually enhance spontaneity.
DO: Keep it Cool
Keeping the interior air on the cooler side is a good way to keep the driver alert. Turn down the heat, turn up the a/c, or just crack a window so the fresh burst of cooler air will help the driver focus. This might also mean planning for light blankets and sweaters for the passengers to ensure everyone’s comfort.
DON’T: Drive Too Late at Night
A good rule of thumb is to only drive after sunrise and stop by dusk. When it’s dark, it takes an added layer of concentration to drive safely, so when traveling long distances, it’s important to consider that you might be more fatigued than usual. Take a rest and hop on the road first thing in the morning to be safe. This is another reason for planning your accommodations ahead of time.
DON’T: Leave Town on a Friday at Rush Hour
To avoid a soul-sucking bumper to bumper situation, take into consideration rush hour times and routes of any big city that you might be driving through along the way. This might mean taking an extra day or half day off from work to “beat the traffic,” or hanging around a neighbouring community of a big city until the coast is clear before passing through. It’s way better to leave early or wait than spend part of your holiday crawling through a city.
DON’T: Skimp on Vehicle Maintenance
Regular maintenance is the key to a reliable vehicle. Nothing puts a damper on a fantastic trip like car trouble. It’s important to make sure that you have everything in your car up to date and recently maintained so you can avoid any preventable problems. It’s also important to make sure that you have the basics for emergency car situations on hand—including a spare tire, jack, jumper cables, flares, and blankets.