There is a sense of adventure about the open road; countless songs have been written about it and myriad novels romanticize it. The idea of grabbing a friend and a car and setting off with just a full tank of gas and the open road might sound appealing. But if you want to have your trip go smoothly, some pre-planning is in order.
Here is a list of mistakes that first-time road-trippers make and how you can avoid them:
1. An Unserviced Car
It may seem like it’s in good shape when you run your daily errands, but you’re going to be driving it for eight to ten hours with little rest in between. Depending on the weather, the heat might also be a factor. So, take your car in for a tune-up before you head out.
2. Not Having Someone to Check on Your Home
Maybe you need your plants watered or the mail picked up. Maybe you want the sprinklers turned on or someone to feed your pets. Make arrangements for the things at home to be taken care of by a family member, neighbor, or friend.
3. Lack of Entertainment
As much as you enjoy the company of your friends, chatting is going to get old after a while, so bring along a lot of entertainment: music, podcasts, audiobooks, and more.
4. Leaving Technology out of It
You may forget to pack your tech gear in your hurry to get on the road, so make a detailed list and tick off things as you pack them. Laptops, chargers, aux cables, power banks, and a DSLR if you’re planning to take great photos. On the other hand, you shouldn’t rely solely on your gadgets. Have a map of your route on your phone marked with all the places you want to stop for gas, food, and hotels.
5. Not Bringing Enough Snacks
Everyone gets peckish on road trips. If you don’t bring lots of healthy snacks, drinks, and ice, it will be a problem. There are lots of gas stations and fast-food places along the way, so you won’t starve, but healthy nutrition is more important on road trips. Fruit, nuts, trail mix, protein bars, and lots of water and ice should be on hand.
6. Not Taking Stretch Breaks
Every few hours you should get out and stretch your legs to avoid cramps. This is also a good idea because you can enjoy the scenery.
7. No Maintenance Gear in the Car
This is especially important on a road trip where there is a chance for the car to break down in the wilderness. If you have the equipment and the know-how to fix a punctured tire, for example, it can be a lifesaver.
8. Leaving Home Without a Road Trip Kit
While the maintenance gear takes care of the car, you should also have a kit for taking care of you and your passengers. This kit should contain anything you think is important, but, specifically, there should be jumper cables, extra batteries, a flashlight, rubbing alcohol, gauze, bandages, scissors, duct tape, and an epi-pen.
If you take care to avoid these eight road trip mistakes, you’ll be sure to have a fun road trip. Remember to stay alert and take breaks when necessary. Should you need any help while you’re on the road, reach out to SG3 Towing for towing and roadside assistance services!