Road trips are usually depicted in movies as a fun and exciting way to spend a weekend getaway or a vacation with your friends or family. Usually seen as a natural high, road trips are commonly seen as a way to break the stress produced by a busy schedule. Although Hollywood usually goes for either a hilarious, action-packed, or romantic view of this common past time, here are some tips to make the most of your next road trip, may it be with your buddies, your family, or the love of your life.
Begin with the end in mind. A lot of people would beg to argue that it is sometimes best to "wing it" when it comes to having a road trip. But this is usually an illusion seen mostly in movies or literature. "Winging" a road trip usually leads to a waste of resources, funds, and most importantly, time. It is always best to have a general goal in mind when going on a road trip, because this will define which places to go to and what activities you may do with your family or friends. If you're with your buddies and you all plan to take amazing pictures, then it would be best to plan your trip around places where you can take good pictures, may it be in a wildlife reserve, a mountain getaway, or simply driving across the state to see the different sights and sounds along the way. List the places you want to visit, and it will readily make you aware of the resources and things you may need to bring along on your trip. This will readily give you an idea of the target budget for your trip, may it be an expensive or cost efficient one.
Plan as a group. Having companions along is an essential need that really makes any trip a more pleasurable experience. You may be going on a road trip with friends, family or your spouse, but whoever it may be, it is always best to include them in the planning stage of the trip. Their opinions and ideas will help contribute to the overall atmosphere of your trip and make the planning much more convenient since it will have everyone's stamp of approval when the plan is finalized.
Be willing to write your plan down... or have someone else do it for you
Plan your route and write it down manually. Note the important routes you may take note of, the places you need to or may need to visit and how long you will stay there, and the cost for the whole trip. Also take note of what amount each member of your group may need to prepare. Make sure to make your costs flexible in case of emergencies. Or if you aren't sure about your planning skills, you may use resources that can be found online that can do the planning for you. Free road trip planners like Rand-McNally and Freetrip.com conveniently guide you in making a trip itinerary tailor-made for your specific needs.
Pack efficiently. Bring things that will contribute to the trip. Pack with intangibles in mind - cellular phones, an adequate set of clothes, a first aid kit, pocket money, food and drinks for the trip, and important multimedia devices that you may need on your trip must be noted and packed well for mobility and safety. Beware of bringing too many things, which will only be more of a burden than an asset in your trip. You don't need to bring your laptop computer when going on an interstate trip to see the Cleveland Cavaliers play right? Pack with your needs in mind.
Take precautionary measures. For safety, it is best to be aware of traffic advisories, which may help you navigate your trip smoothly. Note nearby hospitals or clinics in case of emergencies, and bring a first aid kit along. It always helps to be cautious, since prevention is better than cure.
Be open to delays. Any trip, no matter how delicately planned, will always be vulnerable to delays and setbacks. So it is a healthy practice to be realistic about delays or situations that may harm the flow of your road trip. It may be unexpected traffic, or an immediate emergency that will cause delay, or unexpected engine failure, but nevertheless, a realistic mindset will be more keen on looking for a solution to any given delay or setback. Flexibility is very crucial when it comes to planning your road trip.
Any trip will only be as good as the people that take part in it. So hopefully these tips will make your next road trip as convenient as could be. Happy trip!!!