A Helpful Guide to Having Fun & Staying Safe on the Open Road
Now that quarantines all over the country are being lifted, many travelers are embarking on the journey of the Great American Road Trip. If you’re feeling the itch to go north, south, east, or west, here’s a list of helpful tips to consider before you hit the road,
1. Have your vehicle serviced.
If it’s been a while since you’ve had your car looked at by a professional, make sure you book an appointment before your scheduled departure date. The last thing you need to see when you’re miles away from home is an illuminated “check engine” light or realize that your tires are running a low tread.
2. Clean your car.
Throw out any trash, vacuum the interior, and remove any unnecessary items that will take up space throughout the cabin and trunk. You really don’t want the smell of a three-week-old bag of fast food bits tainting your trip, do you?
3. Map out your route.
We’ve grown dependent on modern navigation devices, but these guides are not 100% accurate. Familiarize yourself with your route on a physical map and keep it in the glove compartment.
4. Keep your eyes on the road.
GPS, radio stations, animated conversations, and other distractions are ever-present on road trips. Make sure to keep your eyes forward and checking the rearview and side-view mirrors every so often to avoid a potential accident with other road trippers.
5. Don’t be afraid of the scenic route.
Yes, certain routes can get you to your destination faster, but what’s the rush? There’s beauty in taking the road less traveled and you may happen upon an interesting roadside attraction or a natural wonder.
6. Check in with family and friends frequently.
It doesn’t hurt to contact loved ones while you travel, especially if you’re on the way to see them and something happens en route. Be sure to tell them exactly where you are, at each check-in and that you’ve arrived at your travel lodgings safely.
7. Take pictures.
It’s a trip, isn’t it? Get the crew out of the car and pose for group photos every once in a while and don’t be afraid to pull over and take a few snaps of various points of interest.
8. Bring the camping gear.
Plan ahead to see what campgrounds, parks, or KOAs are available for a night or two of roughing it. This is a great way to save on hotel costs and make your road trip far more unique.
9. Keep a large stash of food and water in the trunk.
Certain routes don’t have much in terms of dining options and staying hydrated on long trips is very important. Get a cooler and fill it up with water, Gatorade, and food and restock as needed.
10. Follow the rules of the road!
Road trip or no road trip, the rules of the road still apply! Don’t drink and drive, yield to pedestrians, don’t speed, and refrain from tailgating.