The summer months brings out the gypsy in all of us and the lure of the road is almost irresistible. Heading out on a lengthy road trip is a romantic way of spending time in the summer. It can be a great expedition full of wonderful memories if it is properly planned. There are some things that the traveler should do before the wanderlust takes total control of the senses.
• Plan Your Route. You may know your destination, but how to get there has to be mapped out. Summer is also the time of year when a lot of road construction is done, and you have to keep that in mind as you look over the various highways and roads. Auto club associations usually provide a mapping service you may be able to use as you plot your course.
• Establish an Estimate of Your Daily Mileage. When you are a college kid you could drive for hours and trying to make it to the end of the road in one day seemed to be no great challenge. You are older now and a bit wiser. You may also have children who don’t appreciate being on the road 24 hours straight. Determine exactly how many miles you plan to cover in a given day. Understanding that there will be stops for bathroom breaks and meals. Stopping for meals is a good idea because after several hours on the road you need to relax a little bit.
• Be Flexible on the Road. You don’t want to be so rigid in your planning that your trip turns into the Bataan Death March. There are some interesting stops along the way intended for tourists. Take advantage of them because they provide a little bit of the color to make your trip interesting. You also want to have a camera with you to take pictures along the way.
• A Budget Is Going to Help. You have to have an idea of how much you intend to spend on a daily basis. Do your best to stick as close to that as possible. There will be times when you spend a little extra for some great souvenirs. Just be sure that you are not caught totally short of cash before the end of the trip. You may need to use credit or debit cards as you travel. Be sure that those pieces of plastic are in a safe place where nobody can get their hands on them.
• Pack Carefully and for Comfort. Be sure that hard edged suitcases are packed in the truck and not placed in the backseat. Your passengers will want some room and soft bags with clothing in them can make decent cushions. The clothing you are going to be wearing should be packed in such a way that articles for the first stop are on top of the rest.
• Have a First Aid Pack. Accidents and injuries will happen and first-aid might be necessary. A well-equipped first-aid kit is going to come in handy in the event of an emergency.
• Get a Checkup for Your Car. The automobile is going to be driven for hundreds if not thousands of miles. You should have your auto checked before you go on such a trip. That could be the ordinary tune-up and oil check, but the tires also need to be inspected. You do not want to have a situation where your car breaks down miles from the service station.
• Think of Some Entertainment for the Road. The United States is a huge country and you’re going to find that out on your trip. Sometimes the scenery is great and sometimes it is mind numbing boring. You need to have a little entertainment on the road and that can be as simple as some music DVDs. Children can get restless so be sure that they have games, puzzles, and other things to occupy their time as the miles go on.
• Maintain a Sense of Humor. This trip is supposed to be fun and don’t let things like stalled traffic on the freeway get to you. Construction does slow traffic down but not for hours. Take any slowdowns in good grace and understand you will get your destination that may be just a little bit later than originally planned.
Road trips are a wonderful means for family members to get to know each other and bond more closely. It can be a wonderful time and it just requires a little planning and preparation. If you want to do a road trip in August now is the best time to start planning for it. The better you are prepared means the more fun you will have.