Taking to the open road for a cross-country adventure is an exciting prospect. There are parts of a city you can only experience by car. Making the journey with friends or family is guaranteed to produce long-lasting memories. DriversServices.org wants to help you prepare before you set out for the adventure of a lifetime with these helpful tips for your next road trip.
Create a Trip Budget
How much your road crew can afford to spend will help determine many aspects of your trip. If you are renting a car, account for purchasing insurance as well as gas. Decide how much you want to spend per day on food, stops and any attractions. The DriversServices.org group reminds you to leave some cushion in your budget for surprise expenses, such as a delicious looking diner or a trip to a souvenir shop. If you are traveling with a large group, consider splitting costs evenly or calling ahead to book some activities so that you can exclude that from the unexpected expenses.
Get a Gas Card
Gas is going to be one expense you cannot avoid on your cross-country expedition. Stay safe and avoid any hassle of gas purchasing by prepaying for gas and carrying a prepaid card. Especially when stopping at night to re-fuel, having a card to pay at the pump can be safer than going inside with cash. Additionally, you can avoid possible credit card fraud by using a prepaid card not connected to your personal account.
Create a Travel Plan
It may feel as though being spontaneous is the best option when you go on a road-trip; however, when travelling through many different climates and landscapes, it is smart to plan ahead. DriversServices.org experts suggest choosing the route beforehand. Prepping your route allows you to plan around construction, avoid high-traffic areas and catch some particularly cool sights along the way. Additionally, not all routes are created equally. Some routes take longer but have more to offer in terms of the view, while others are best if you already have a list of must-see items and want to get there as fast as possible.
Decide on Lodging in Advance
It is best to book your lodging as soon as your choose your travel dates to get the best price for your stay. If you choose a time of year popular for other travelers, it may be difficult to find a suitable room for your group. DriversServices.org also recommends considering how long you plan on staying in each location to help decide when to go for a more comfortable space, or to save money by choosing an economy-style room. You may want to look into home-share options or hostels if you prefer experiencing the local culture. However, if you plan to visit a popular attraction in the area, it may be best to choose a hotel close to the venue you will visit.
Pack Safety Gear
Safety is key when driving long distances. DriversServices.org suggests investing in a portable tire-changing kit, as well as an app that will help you find emergency road assistance if you need it. It is crucial to have supplies in your car that can help you avoid being stuck for long periods of time, particularly in unfamiliar places. It is also a good idea to bring along a first-aid kit for any scrapes that can occur on your trip.