5 Pointers for Planning the Perfect Road Trip

It all starts with a vision of where you want to go and what you want to see. The ideas for some beautiful experiences are often born in a flash. From there, follow these pointers, and you’ll be on your way to a most memorable road trip.

Day trips often stem from spur of the moment ideas, and there’s little need to plan. On the other hand, a road trip lasting a few days needs planning, if only to minimize the potential risks that might end the trip unexpectedly.

There are five areas consider; the route you take, the stops you make, the car you take, the car’s condition, and in-car entertainment.

5 Tips For Planning the Perfect Road Trip

5 Tips For Planning the Perfect Road Trip

The Route You Take

The first thing to consider is the route you will take to reach your destination. If you’re not traveling on a major freeway, a map is usually helpful. For closer destinations, Google maps will be okay, but for farther destinations, you might want to consider purchasing a map or map book.

The Car You Take

You won’t always have the choice, but in some instances, the vehicle you’re driving may limit the time you can spend on the road. Some cars are too small inside to allow an extended drive, and after three hours everyone will be cramped by complaints.

You need to consider the cost of fuel, the types of roads you will travel on, and the overall comfort of the vehicle. The cost of fuel to a far-away place might have you opting for a smaller engine car. The back roads might require you use an all-terrain vehicle, or the limited space in the back might call for a larger car.

The Car’s Condition

If there is any aspect of your car’s operation you are concerned about, have it checked, because potential problems are most likely to show themselves when your vehicle has been running non-stop for a few hours.

The minimum checks you must do are for oil, radiator coolant, brake fluid and (less often) gearbox oil. The spare wheel must be inflated and in place, along with a mechanical jack and automotive spanners. A service for your car is always a good idea, especially with longer road trips.

Make sure all the vehicle’s front and rear lights and indicators are working and that the headlights align for driving at night.

The Stops You Make

Before planning stops, you need to know how far your car will go on a full tank of fuel. One of the most important aspects of road trip planning is planning the stops. With the aid of a map, you can choose stops to refill the tank, use the washroom, get a bite to eat and buy refreshments for the driving time.

No one should drive for more than two hours continuously. Take at least five-minute breaks every two hours.

You can combine the stop with some sightseeing.

In-Car Entertainment

Shorter trips usually don’t require entertainment for the children as the sights on the road are generally enough to keep them occupied. However, when there are more than a few hours involved, children are likely to get bored. DVDs will keep children busy and nag-free for a long time. MP3 music is a staple for most car owners, so there’ no special mention needed. For older children, especially those who read, some books and magazines will come in handy.

Whatever the entertainment, it should not distract the driver, and front-mounted DVD players are the worst offenders in this regard. Reading a book or review about the destination be a great introduction before you get there.

The road trip to and from a final destination offers you the opportunity to have a vacation within a vacation, and if there is no strong reason to get quickly to the target, it is the ideal way to approach your travel arrangements. The journey itself can be the focus instead of a rush to get where everyone else is going anyway.

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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