May 12, 2021
When the open road is calling your name, plan the perfect trip.
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many people took to the road as a safer option for exploring the places they dreamed of seeing. If you’re eager to travel again and cross some must-see items off your bucket list, grab your luggage and get ready to explore. Here are six tips for creating the perfect road trip.
1. Make an Itinerary
A thoughtfully planned out agenda can help ensure you see everything on your list with enough time to enjoy. You don’t want to create an itinerary that plans for every hour of your day, however, a general overview of what you want to see and how long it will take to drive there can help create realistic expectations in your allotted timeframe. Otherwise, you can lose track of time and miss out on all the places you wanted to see. You’ll also want to break up the amount of driving you do in a day. The scenic route can be fun, but if it keeps you on the road longer than you want to be you may want to map out a more direct path.
2. Create a Budget
Money tends to flow a little more freely when on vacation. After all, you want to be able to enjoy your time. However, you don’t want to be halfway through your trip and realize you’re out of money. Creating a budget beforehand can help ensure you’re saving your well-earned dollars for the experiences you care most about. Before hitting the road, sit down and crunch some numbers. Make sure to account for daily expenses, such as gas, places to stay, food and any activities you want to do. If you’re traveling with someone, check to see what their budget is too, that way everyone can be on the same page.
3. What to Pack
As a general rule of thumb, pack lighter and smarter. There’s nothing worse than having a suitcase full of shorts and t-shirts only to see the temperature has plummeted at your destination. Check the weather before you go and bring clothes you can easily layer. Don’t just pack your clothes — you’ll need items for the road as well. Car snacks and hydrating drinks are an essential item of any road trip, stock up on your favorite items before starting your journey. Traveling during the COVID-19 era also means packing for your health and safety. Don’t forget to bring plenty of face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for your stops along the way.
4. Download Helpful Apps
Between getting lost and being bored, road trips can quickly become exhausting if you’re not prepared. Keep things entertaining by downloading a few helpful apps beforehand. Avoid getting stranded in the middle of nowhere with an empty tank of gas and download GasBuddy, an app that will tell you where the nearest gas station is. Avoid traffic delays by downloading Waze and find the fastest route to your destination. If you’re taking turns driving and taking naps on the road isn’t something you want to do, download the Cox Contour app for on-the-go access to your favorite movies or TV shows.
5. Prepare Your Car
There’s nothing worse than hitting the road and having to deal with car troubles in the middle of your trip. Avoid unnecessary break downs by having your car serviced before you leave. Make sure your car has enough oil to run or consider getting an oil change prior to leaving. You’ll also want to check your wiper fluid to avoid visibility issues, and make sure you have plenty of water. A number of things can happen on your trip, like locking your keys inside the car or the battery dying. Prepare for the worse by joining a roadside assistance club for added peace of mind.
6. Make Reservations
Depending on where you’re going and what time of year it is, places can book up fast. If you’re traveling during a popular tourist season, book your accommodation in advance. You’ll also want to check for any tickets, reservations or permits needed for the places you want to see. Do your research and plan ahead so you’re not stuck driving for hours with no place to go!