As the temperatures drop in Rochester, NY, the urge to travel like a snowbird to a warmer climate increases. Just before a snowstorm, consider road-tripping to warmer weather, such as the Carolinas, Georgia, or Florida. Before you head out though, integrate this advice from experienced road trip experts into your own planning.
Plan Your Trip in Detail
Avoid problems on your road trip by planning it in a detailed fashion. Choose the route and length of the trip, and book hotel rooms along the way before leaving. Realistically set mileage goals for each day and, if you want to stop in small towns, research whether the attractions you want to remain open when you will visit.
Ready the Vehicle
If you rent a vehicle for the trip, skip this section. Driving your own vehicle requires significant preparation though. Have a mechanic thoroughly check it out and repair any issues. Fill the gas tank completely on Monday, if possible, since gas costs the least then. Have the vehicle detailed, so you begin the vacation with it clean inside and out.
Pack What You Need
Concerning clothing and gear, pack a bit more than you think you need. Things happen on the road, so a little preparation can ensure you can handle an emergency situation. This also helps you save money by avoiding buying gear on the road.
Stock up on snacks, water, sodas, and coffee at the grocery store. Gas station prices ruin road trip budgets. Grocery stores typically offer better quality food, too.
Gas Up Every Few Hours
Start with a completely full tank of gas and stop to refill when the tank hits half full. These frequent stops ensure you never run out of gas and you always get to use the bathroom when needed. Just avoid the snack counter and carefully pull out of the parking lot because, according to Motor Biscuit, parking lots and garages provide the locations for 20% of vehicular accidents.
Remain Alert While Driving
Every year, in the U.S., about 6.75 million auto accidents occur. Taking a driving break every two hours can help you remain alert, which helps avoid accidents. Don't depend on caffeine or other stimulants to keep you awake; get plenty of sleep before driving.
Have Alternative Routes Planned
Instead of solely relying on the $1.87 billion navigation devices and services market, identify alternate routes before embarking. Download maps to your smartphone or GPS before your trip to ensure you have access to them in areas without data service. Street closures can happen overnight in any city, so know what you will do to work around these emergencies when they happen. Double-check each road before leaving because mapping data can report a road finished that actually remains under construction.
Identify Things to See and Do Along the Way
Forget the idea that vacation starts when you arrive at your destination. It starts the minute you pull out of your driveway. Plan things to do along the travel route, so you do more than just stop at gas stations. This process makes the trip more enjoyable and reduces the "Are we there yet?" feeling.
Purchase or Assemble an Emergency Kit
Plan for the thing that you think won't happen by having an emergency kit in the trunk of your car or the backseat. You should be able to access it without getting out of the vehicle. Store-bought kits usually include medical supplies, flares, lights, etc. Add a warm blanket, canned food, a can opener, and a few gallons of drinking water. You may need some of the water to cool the radiator or add to another area of the vehicle.
Get Road Trip Ready
Increase the fun of your next road trip with these tips. Planning and vehicle prep can result in a more enjoyable trip. Plan for emergencies and drive defensively for the best results.