The great American Road Trip is still a dream for many people from the US and abroad. It’s a classic trip to take, driving from one side of the country to another, stopping on the way to experience all the different things that each state or city you pass through has to offer. As a rite of passage, there aren’t many finer than this. So if you want to experience the great American road trip, there are some things you will need to think about and prepare for first. Once you’ve taken these things into consideration, you will be ready to start the journey of a lifetime.
Clean Your Car
It may seem like a small thing, perhaps even an insignificant thing, but cleaning your car before you set off on your adventure is important. It shows that you are committed to doing this and that you’re ready to go. Clean the outside so that you can at least start your trip with a shiny, new looking car, and then also clean the inside. Make sure you get rid of all the trash, the old food wrappers, the drinks bottles, and everything else that truly has no place being there. You might be surprised at just how much garbage you remove from one car. You should also wipe every surface down and vacuum it all out. Start with only the possessions you intend to take with you, and you’ll have a less cluttered car and less cluttered mind. Plus you’ll be able to add more souvenirs of your trip when you have more room!
Check Your Car
Before you set off on your potentially long adventure, make sure your car is up to the challenge. If you know what you’re looking for you can do this yourself. Otherwise, it is highly recommended that you book the vehicle in with a trained mechanic. You will need to check the car’s fluid levels, the tires, the brakes, the engine in general, and anything else that might cause a problem for you when you’re driving a long distance. The last thing you want to happen is for your car to break down on you and you get stuck in the middle of nowhere. Pack a spare tire, just in case, and continue to monitor the oil and water levels every time you stop somewhere.
Make A Loose Plan
You don’t have to have every single day perfectly mapped out, but it is useful to have a least a loose plan noted down before you set out. You are going to encounter delays due to the weather or the traffic, for example, so if you have a really rigid schedule you are likely to have some problems with it – it might mean you have to miss out on some of the things you were really hoping to see. That’s why it’s best to keep things loose and fluid, just in case you come up against any delays, diversions, or complete halts. You don’t want to be canceling hotel reservations and booking others right at the last minute. Always have a backup plan too so that even if your first idea isn’t going to work, you can still keep moving forward. Remember also that just because you thought you were going to do this thing or that thing when you arrived in a place you don’t have to. If it doesn’t look quite so exciting, or you want to change your plans and try an Indianapolis Escape Room instead of the Indianapolis Children’s Museum then do it – this is your trip.
Don’t Stick To The Highways
In practice, using highways to get from one place to another is the quickest, easiest and fastest route. However, when you’re on a road trip, quick isn’t necessarily what you’re going for. Unless you have a super strict schedule and need to be somewhere at a specific time, it’s far more interesting and exciting to take the smaller country back roads instead. You’ll see a whole lot more of the country this way, and you might even spot something interesting enough to pull over and experience. It’s best to check your map to ensure that the back road you are intending to take isn’t what is known as a ‘blue highway’ (basically a road with a ton of stores located along the side – that’s not very scenic or mind-expanding). You’ll want to take the roads that are marked as scenic routes. If you’re not sure, check online (assuming you have a reasonable signal, of course).
Have Entertainment Options
You can’t guarantee that the radio stations you’re going to be able to pick up on your long drive are going to be all that entertaining, so make sure you preload your cell phone with enough music to keep you interested throughout your trip. Plus you might want to download some movies and games to your tablet or smartphone and bring a selection of books with you so that when you do stop for the night, you can enjoy some downtime. If you have to rely on poor cable channels and a bad TV signal and you have no other form of entertainment, it could well be a very long night indeed, and you won’t wake up feeling very refreshed which makes the whole of the next day uncomfortable.
Join Roadside Rescue
Your car might be in the best condition, but anything can happen and if you end up stranded on a back road somewhere and there are no passing cars or any form of help, some kind of roadside rescue assistance is going to be needed. You may look at the costs and think it’s an expense you can do without, and hopefully that’s true; hopefully, you won’t need to use it at all. However, what if you do need it? It’s far better to have it and not have to call on it once on your entire trip than to not have it and get into trouble.