Things to Consider When Organizing a Road Trip
This guest blog post was curated for Bucky by Bethany Seton.
A road trip is a great excuse to break out of your daily routine and embrace a few new experiences. The cliché notion of driving into the sunset with only a sack of clothes and a tank full of gas might sound fun, but the truth is a successful journey requires some preparation and organization. Even if you're not sure where to start, these simple steps will have you on the road in no time.
Plan Your Route
Planning the ideal road adventure can be almost as exciting as the journey itself, and it's also a great insurance policy against unexpected mishaps. By working out how far you plan to travel, how long you intend on staying, and what you want to do in each location, you’ll dramatically increase the likelihood of everything going to plan. Whether you’re journeying from California across the desert planes of Nevada and Arizona or exploring the diverse sights of the East Coast, there are countless options and routes available for your vehicular adventure.
Book Your Time Off
A decent journey might take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and either way, you'll want to stay in your employer's good books by giving them advanced notice of your travel plans. Give notice as early as possible (at least a fortnight in advance is a good rule of thumb), leaving them time to delegate your workload to other employees. If you're really ambitious, you could even decide to bring your work along for the ride and keep the cash rolling in while you’re on the road. To make this work, all you’ll need is a load of self-control and a very reliable source of internet.
Arrange the Budget
A road trip might be a relatively inexpensive way to travel, but it still comes with expenses. Basics like fuel are a given and maybe one of the most significant expenses you’ll need to cover, depending on how far you want to go. Insurance and roadside assistance are also extremely important - it will save you much wasted time and stress in case the unexpected happens and your car ends up damaged. If you’re smart with your food and accommodation budget and look for opportunities to save some money, like comparing gas stations for the best price, you should have enough cash to splurge on a few fun activities along the way,
It might seem strange to try and prepare meals when you’re heading off on a long car journey without refrigeration, but it can be done. An icebox is a great option for keeping food cold on the go and will be effective as long as you keep it topped up with ice. Space is likely to be tight in the car, which means you may need to make do with a fun-sized icebox for the essentials and a stash of food items which can be kept at ambient temperature.
Check Your Car
A road trip typically means many more hours of driving than what your car is accustomed to, so before you go, it's best to check for any mechanical issues. You should aim to take your car for a check-up with a mechanic in the week before you leave, and ask to have the oil, tire tread, and any other potential problem areas examined. These appointments can be costly, especially when you’ve been putting off regular maintenance, but there are also several things you can take care of by yourself. Start by pumping up each of your tires to the recommended air pressure, and replace them if the tracks in the rubber are wearing thin. Then, check and refill the windscreen wiper fluid levels. These small fixes will save you when it comes to navigating wild weather or bumpy roads.
Pack Your Suitcase
It goes without saying that the items you take on your road trip should align with your destination and the activities you have planned. It’s worth giving this extra attention and consideration if only to sidestep the horror of realizing you’ve forgotten to pack a swimsuit as you pull up to a beach. It is essential to make your trip as comfortable and cozy as possible. Your ideal road trip might involve hotel-hopping and staying in a new four-star room each night, but if outdoors adventures are more your idea of fun, you’ll need to prepare. A small, portable tent, pillow, eye mask, and sleeping bag are essential items for a trip involving a night or two under the stars, while a beach trip might only require a swimsuit, a towel, and a bottle of sunscreen, so follow your plan.
Traveling on the open road is a great opportunity to make memories and enjoy your freedom, but like any adventure, a road trip comes with a few unavoidable risks. By taking precautions and preparing for the unexpected, you can avoid many unwelcome bumps in the road, and enjoy a trip full of new adventures.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bethany Seton is a recent economics graduate. Before settling in an office, she decided to follow her passion for writing and traveling. Currently, she travels with her laptop and writes for various blogs, hoping one day she will gather all the experience she gets in one book.