Planning the perfect road trip can be daunting. From picking the best routes to staying within a budget, the process can be overwhelming at times. However, there are a few tips that can make your next cross-country road trip easier and more fun.
Prevent Getting Lost
Although meandering along hidden back roads and discovering the perfect picnic spot by accident can seem charming on the surface, there may be times when you do not want to get lost. In addition to downloading map apps to your smartphone and getting a GPS system for your car, consider getting some old-fashioned paper maps. Investing in a paper road atlas may seem like a brilliant idea after your phone battery dies, or you cannot get a signal.
Get Your Car Ready
There is nothing worse than having your car break down in the middle of the night on a secluded stretch of a road. Even if you are an expert at fixing a flat, other things can go wrong. Before embarking on a road trip, make sure you have a mechanic check the car thoroughly. At a minimum, you should have the oil and oil filter changed along with checking the fluids, battery, tires and brakes. Get a first aid and emergency kit for the car with flashlights, tools and jumper cables.
If you are stranded, your car insurance company may be able to come to the rescue. Many companies now offer roadside assistance that includes towing, battery jump-starts, fuel delivery and flat tire changes. Check your policy, and if your company does not include this service, then consider using an online tool to look for better car insurance. Most companies offer roadside assistance for a small annual or bi-annual fee that is cheaper than getting AAA on its own.
Stay on Budget
Whether you are splurging on too many snacks or cannot resist a room upgrade, staying on a budget can be difficult. One of the best ways to stick to your limit is to plan ahead. Fortunately, there are plenty of apps that can help. Make sure you download apps like GasBuddy to save on gas along the way or HotelTonight to get deals on hotel rooms since you do not want to sleep in the car every night.
Get Instagram Ready
Your cross-country road trip is the perfect opportunity to fill your Instagram followers with envy. But it can be hard to take a gorgeous photo every day when you are tired and only want to get to the next stop. To increase your chances of getting better pictures bring a selfie stick, tripod and Bluetooth remote for your camera. Also, download an app like Snapseed before you hit the road, so you can edit photos quickly on the phone and hide the bags under your eyes from driving for 18 hours.
When you are going on a road trip, it may be tempting to pack too much. Do not try to cram half of your closet into a suitcase. Instead, bring versatile pieces that match each other and coordinate well. Stick to the basics and keep a color palette that works well together. Consider getting a roof-top cargo box for your car for the essentials that do not fit in the trunk.
You can plan an amazing cross-country trip that will make you want to stay on the road forever. Keep these tips in mind and remember that there are no wrong turns when you are on an adventure.