Everyone should experience a road trip at least once in their life. The long, open roads, sitting cramped in the back seat, and just spending idle time with your friends or family- there’s nothing quite like it. Of course, road trips aren’t all fun. There are hassles and inconveniences that our memories conveniently leave out when we reminisce.
But these inconveniences aren’t enough to stop us from planning a fun road trip. Even in these experiences, we form a stronger bond with family and friends. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan ahead and just let things happen.
If you want to be better prepared to make sure your journey isn’t ruined, here are a few tips to get you started.
Preparation is Key
Any sort of trip that lasts a day or so longer needs some sort of preparation. And in a case of a road trip, it can take quite the preparation. The first order of business is making sure the vehicle you will use is in good shape. Make sure that the tires are all well-aired (You don’t want a tire to blow out in the middle of the road), your car oil is still good, and your gasoline tank is full. But beyond car-related prep, you also need to prepare food and other things you need for comfort.
Bring enough snacks to keep everyone from feeling hungry but not too full, have enough fluids to make sure no one is dehydrated (you have to deal with having to go to the bathroom anyway), include toiletries while you’re at it too, and most importantly, make sure that you prepared medicines such as antihistamines, painkillers, and aspirins. You can never be too sure on the road, and over-preparing will always be a better option than being unprepared.
Clean Your Car!
You will never regret cleaning your car, and during an eight-hour-long road trip, you will be glad you did. Cleaning your car’s interior and exterior is one of those things you just have to do if you want your trip to be comfortable. Having a clean looking car on the outside will help you feel more confident driving through different places. And a clean interior means a more comfortable trip. You don’t want your passengers to find random trash lying around- that can spoil the mood.
Dirty windows block the view, and leaving food around can be a really nasty experience, if not a stinky one too. So clean your car before you go on a road trip. It’s one of those moments where you won’t feel it if it goes right, but you will definitely be affected it goes wrong.
Plan Your Pit stops… but Be Flexible
Obviously, you will need to take breaks when you’re on the road. The driver needs a break from focusing on the road, and everyone has to shake off their legs and let blood flow naturally again. Not to mention call of nature, you need to have opportunities to dispel bodily fluids. The important thing is you’re familiar with the road you’re traveling (either by having gone there before or you’ve researched beforehand) and have made the necessary plans so you know where to stop.
Being prepared is crucial so you don’t end up looking for a gasoline station when everyone’s holding their pee in for 45 minutes. Despite this, you also need to be flexible enough to adjust when research goes wrong. Sometimes, your GPS might not be updated, and you find that gasoline stations or pit stops are closed. Prepare contingency plans in cases like these, you never want to be in a position of not knowing where to go next.
Assign Roles and Stick to It
Everyone joining the road trip should share the responsibilities of being on a road trip. You can distribute roles and responsibilities according to seating position: driver, riding shotgun, and the ones sitting in the backseat. Obviously, the driver needs to focus on the road and keep everyone safe. The one riding shotgun needs to keep the driver company (hint: awake) and communicate with the ones riding the backseat if anything happens. The ones riding in the backseat can share roles like distributing the snacks, cleaning up after snacking, or even just controlling the music.
Having orderly roles like this helps keep everyone from being bored, while also making sure the trip is organized and everyone gets to be responsible for something.
To make a road trip as fun as it can be, you need to take into account the many factors that can affect a road trip, and you need to anticipate and be ready for whatever problem that may arise.