Traveler's Test

10 Masterful Tips for Your Next Road Trip

10 Masterful Tips for Your Next Road Trip

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Whether you are taking a business trip, visiting national parks, or a travel writer looking for your next blog post -long car trips can be painful.

If you don’t feel like spending money and booking flights, then a road trip is a great idea.

We have gathered the best travel tips to make your future road trips easy, helping you to save money while having fun.

1) What car are you taking?

The kind of car you drive will depend on your destination, and how many travel buddies you have. If you are going on dirt roads, you may opt for an all-wheel-drive vehicle (we love the Kia Sportage). For a family trip, select a car with an extra seat in the back and plenty of boot space.

2) Check your car before you go

Nothing is worse than having an unexpected, but preventable, breakdown in the early morning in the middle of nowhere. Before you hit the road, ask your mechanic to check your oil levels, brakes, tire pressure and transmission.

It is also a good idea to keep jumper cables in your car. Make sure your spare tire is inflated, and that you know how to change a tire!

3) Have a vague plan

Having a vague idea of where you are heading and stopping will be a great help. Try to book accommodation ahead of time so that you don’t end up driving around looking for a place to sleep.

Booking online ahead of time can help you find the best deals.

4) Embrace your phone

On long stretches of road, you may find yourself listening to the screech of the radio as it struggles to get a signal. In this case, it is great to have your phone loaded with podcasts, audiobooks or downloaded music. You should make sure you have a phone’s car charger on hand.

If the kids are driving you mad from the back seat, your phone can be used to keep the kids occupied. Streaming platforms like Netflix or AppleTV are excellent at keeping the complaining to a minimum.

If your car does not have built-in navigation, then your phone is useful for Google Maps or Waze to get you to your destination.

5) Divide the workload

If you have travel partners, try dividing up driving time. Also divide up other duties like navigating, meal planning and packing. If you pack light, it will be easier to fit more into the car, but figuring out the puzzle of suitcases into a boot is not for everyone.

6) Sign up for roadside assistance

Unfortunately, accidents do happen. By signing up for roadside help you can drive in peace knowing that someone will be able to come help you if you break down. Assistance companies can link you to reputable car towers and mechanics if you are in a pinch.

7) Have your documents in order

Make sure you have all your important documents with you. This includes your driver’s licence, car registration and travel insurance information. Anyone that has gone on a road trip can confirm that you risk being pulled over by traffic authorities at least once, and you don’t want to be stuck without your papers.

You may also want to pay any outstanding traffic tickets, as your car can be impounded if you have large outstanding fines.

8) Try the road less travelled

The highway may be the quickest way to get to your destination, but road tripping is about seeing the sights, even if it extends your journey by a few hours. If you venture through country roads, you will experience a lot more, like odd tourist attractions, local diners and quirky accommodation options.

8) Cool bag and snacks

Always keep snacks at hand, especially if you have kids in the car. There can be large distances between gas stations, so fill a few plastic bags with snacks, or get an electric cool box for drinks. This will make sure everyone is satisfied in between rest stops.

9) Work out a budget

If you plan your budget beforehand you will know how much money is required for the whole road trip. Rather overestimate your budget to cover all unforeseen expenses.

If you are a group travelling going on a road trip together, work out a communal budget and stick to it. Discuss how much everyone plans on spending each day, and set extra money aside for activities and roadside attractions.

10) Carry a physical map

GPS has made us all lazy and has certainly simplified road tripping. Sometimes you may lose GPS signal in mountainous regions, and that is when a real map or map book will come in handy.

You can also download offline maps to your phone if you don’t know how to read a map.

Final Thoughts

Going on a road trip should be fun! If you travel light, stick to the speed limit, and take care of your car (and your road trip partners), you will have a great time without any problems.