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7 Helpful Tips for Road Trips

If you want to save some cash while indulging your adventurous side, a road trip is the perfect way to travel. However, there’s probably more planning involved than you might guess. Here are some helpful tips to consider when planning your first road trip: [caption id="attachment_3612" align="alignright" width="600"]

Image of Fun, Vacation,

Ah, the open road... can't get much better than that.[/caption]

Get Your Engines Ready

Whether your car is new or twenty years old, you should make sure it’s up to snuff for spending long hours on the road. It’s not a bad idea to have your car inspected before you go, in order to identify any potential problems your vehicle may run into. Make sure you have your license with you, along with a spare tire, plenty of windshield wiper fluid and have your registration and up-to-date insurance.

Choose Your Passengers Wisely

A road trip is not the kind of trip you want to take with people you don’t always get along with. You want to travel with people who are easy-going, reliable and low-maintenance. Imagine this: if your car breaks down on the side of the road, do you want to be stuck with that friend who will be easily upset or annoyed? Try to only travel with people who you can trust to stay calm and go with the flow. You’ll also want to choose passengers who don’t mind taking turns with driving, picking music, contributing to gas costs and paying for their own food. When you’re on a road trip, nothing is worse than dealing with a mooch. So, if your friend is broke or stingy, you might want to bring someone else.

Road Trips with Kids

Many people would prefer to fly with children, if only because it takes less time. If you’re brave enough to attempt a road trip with kids, make sure you provide them with enough entertainment to make the trip bearable. Books, videos, portable gaming systems and travel games can make a huge difference between a fun road trip and a miserable one. Plan on taking a few more bathroom breaks, and try to plan a few stops along the way for the kids to get out and play.

Pack Up the Snacks

When you’re hungry out on the road, you’ll be tempted to stop at McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, Taco Bell and Subway. But as we all know, this isn’t the healthiest or most cost-effective option for getting your hands on some food and drinks. Instead, pack up a cooler and a few bags full of snacks before you start driving. Good snacks to bring include waters, pretzels, fruit, juice boxes, snack bars, pita chips and sandwiches. While you’re on the road, stop in at a grocery store to stock up on more snacks. This will save everyone a lot of money in the long run!

Don’t Turn the Car into a Dump

Bringing garbage bags, cleaning wipes and air fresheners can make a huge difference on your road trip. You’ll be living in your car, so you won’t want it to get filthy or full of trash.

Expect the Unexpected

When you plan out your road trip schedule (where you’re going to stop and when), you should always leave extra time for unexpected delays. Maybe someone will want to stop and go shopping, or take photos of scenery. If there’s room in the schedule for an unexpected stop, you’ll be able to make time and still get to your destination when you want to.

Sleep Soundly

If you’re spending a lot of time on the road and not stopping at hotels, you’ll need to plan for sleeping in the car while someone else drives. For this reason, you should bring a comfortable pillow, a blanket and some headphones to help block out road noise. When it’s your turn to drive again, you’ll be much happier and much more if you’re well-rested.

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