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Preparing for the big road trip

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Preparing for the big road trip

Traveling is one of the most stimulating kinds of activities that you can do. The chance to see new places, experience something different, and create memories for you and your family or friends is invaluable. It can create closer relationships with your fellow travelers and even provide a boost to mental health.

Long road trips are becoming more and more popular as a way to travel across the state or the country. Whether you are driving to the next state over or coast to coast, road trips are a great way to check items off your bucket list.

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But these endeavors can be a huge undertaking. You have to know the route you are taking, pack all of the necessities, consider food and gas, and understand plenty of other logistics to get ready for the trip. Here are some helpful tips to help you prepare for a successful adventure on the road.

Have a “loose” structure for your route

It is important to plan your route ahead of time so that you know what to pack. A road trip is one of many types of adventures you can go on, but it is unique in that it can be very flexible. You never know what interesting sight you may pass along the road that makes you stop and say, “we gotta see that!” Or you encounter some locals in a restaurant that tell you about this awesome hidden gem that tourists don’t know about in their town. Even if you made a specific plan for your trip and have places to be by certain times, leave room for improvisation. The point of a road trip is to experience new things, and you should be open to changing the plan to create a memory.

Bring a map

If you are traveling cross-country, the odds are high that you will lose cell service throughout the drive. Even on your stops, depending on where you are, it could be difficult to find a signal and know your exact location. Having a map with you is the fail-safe you need to know where you are and where you are going at all times. Plus, it can be a fun way to engage the kids, challenging them to find where you are on the map or get them to look for certain locations that you are heading to. 

Take care of the vehicle beforehand

There is no road trip without a healthy vehicle, whether it is a car, van, or RV. It is probably a good idea to bring your vehicle to an auto shop for a little bit of a checkup to make sure it can get the job done. Make sure that everything is purring and running smoothly, since you will be fully reliant on its functionality in the coming days. Also, make sure that your insurance coverage is a great safety net, especially since you never know what can happen on the road. Take care of your vehicle first and it will take care of you and your fellow travelers.

Healthy snacks and grocery stores

When you are getting food for your trip, consider the value of healthy snacks as opposed to junk food. There could be long bouts of boredom as the miles stretch on, and boredom often leads to eating when there is not much else to do. It will be better for your health if you have good options like veggies to snack on rather than sugary and salty foods. Plus, they can give you better energy and nutrients. When you do stop for food, look for grocery stores. There are far more options, including healthy alternatives to what you will typically find in a gas station.   

Make a list of engaging activities for the drive

The hardest part of a road trip is being stuck in the same place for hours on end, even if you are in a bigger vehicle like an RV. You will need ways to break up the monotony, especially if you have younger passengers with high energy. Make a list of games that you can play, whether it is something simple like I Spy or physical games like Go Fish. You could do “would you rather” questions and other icebreakers to pass the time. Playlists that have songs for everyone will keep things moving along, and nothing beats singing out loud together with the windows down and getting weird looks from other drivers. Start your trip prepared with lots of ideas so that the long stretches on the road pass quickly.

What you will need most? Patience

You might get stuck in traffic. There could be issues with where you plan to stay. Kids might get restless and start to act out. You will need to have a tremendous amount of patience at times during a long road trip. It is important to know this ahead of time so that you can plan ways to take a breath and stay calm. The experience is worth all of the difficulties that you will encounter. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride with your fellow travelers.