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plan a road trip

Tips for Planning a Road Trip

In a time of travel restrictions and social distancing, 2020 is likely to be the year of the road trip. A vehicular vacation allows for fun, flexibility, and the added safety of minimizing in-person interactions with those outside of your close travel circle.iBut how do you go about preparing for a journey on wheels? plan a road trip

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Most people should drive between 8 and 12 hours per day on a road trip. You may decide to stop every 2 or 3 hours to stretch and get more gas. You may need to drive 12 hours if you have a short travel schedule. However, if you get drowsy or stiff while driving, you should strive to only drive up to 8 hours per day.

 

How do I create a road trip itinerary?

  • Get inspired and choose a destination/approximate route.
  • Plan your road trip route on google maps.
  • Create a road trip budget.
  • Plan things to do, where you will stay and make appropriate bookings.
  • Prepare your vehicle, documentation, and insurance.

The Best Road Trip Apps That Help You Find Cheap Gas, Avoid Traffic and More

Smartphones have revolutionized the way we travel in countless ways. Paper maps and GPS navigation systems have been replaced by our iPhones and Androids, making road trips infinitely easier. Whether you need a road trip planner to map out your next journey or an app to find a way around a traffic jam, we’ve got you covered. These are 10 best road trip apps for your adventure: Roadtrippers, Google Maps, GasBuddy, Waze, iExit Interstate Exit Guide, Roadside America, HotelTonight, Airbnb, The Dyrt and Spotify.

Have a plan for staying connected plan a road trip

Getting lost is no fun. Driving for hours without being able to stream music or podcasts is not fun. Being stuck in middle of nowhere without the ability to call for help in an emergency is the least fun of all. That’s why it’s very important that you have a plan for how you will stay connected during your trip.

Bringing your phone is not enough. At minimum, we would recommend having a car charger to charge your phone when it runs low on battery.  If you plan on leaving the car to go on day trips, I’d also recommend having a portable battery. I bring one with me when I go on hikes, so I know that I can charge my phone if I need to while I’m away from the car.

Consider setting up in-car Wi-Fi plan a road trip

If you want to make staying connected especially easy for your passengers, you might also want to consider setting up in-car Wi-Fi. In-car Wi-Fi uses a cellular network to broadcast Wi-Fi service to people in or near the car. It’s really nice, because everyone can just connect to the network, much like they would if they were at home. It’s great for things like streaming music.

Road trip gas calculatorConsider downloading map data ahead of time

There are still some places where you might not be able to get service for short periods of time. I’ve found that just in case, it’s smart to download your maps information from your navigation app ahead of time. That way you’ll still have access to navigation if you briefly lose service. It’s not hard to do, and it’s better to have the maps and not need them than to need them and not have them.

Prepare for the worst

There’s a reason the saying “hope for the best and prepare for the worse” is so popular. For a road trip, that means packing a few items that might help if things go wrong. A few items that come to mind include rain ponchos, jumper cables, a first aid kit, and the tools needed to change a tire, such as a jack, a spare tire, and a lug wrench. Additionally, you’ll want to think carefully about your specific trip and what items might be needed if things go wrong where you are going.

Pack some “real” food

On a long road trip you’re going to have to eat along the way. Regardless of where you are headed, there’s a good chance you’ll spend a decent amount of time out in the country. Your food options might be limited in these areas, and even if they aren’t, going to restaurants the whole trip can be expensive.

Make sure your car is ready

If you are potentially going to put hundreds or even thousands of new miles on your car, it’s worth making sure your vehicle is up for the journey. This doesn’t mean you need to spend a bunch of money at the mechanic, but it’s worth making sure you have the basics, like a recent oil change, enough wiper fluid, and AC that is in good condition.

Good luck planning your road trip, and drive safely

Hopefully, this post gave you a few tips and encouraged you to do a little preparation ahead of time. It might feel like extra work, but planning your road trip can make things that much more fun.

Now, please remember to drive safely, and have a great trip!

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