With the warmer weather comes the opportunity to get on the open road and explore! I love going on road trips to different areas around Atlanta. In this post I give you 7 tips for planning a road trip. It may seem like the easier mode of taking a vacation but there are items that must not be overlooked.
1) Location: In planning a road trip you must first decide on a location. Personally I enjoy road trips with a max of 4 hours driving. However, last year we drove 7 hours from Atlanta to New Orleans and it went by fast. You need to decide the maximum distance and time you would like to drive and if stops will be made. I suggest overnight stops if the entire trip cannot be done during daylight. If you are planning a road trip with children there will be many stops along the way. Take that into consideration when deciding your location and overall time.
2) Your Vehicle: You can’t go on a road trip without a well maintained vehicle. There is no fun in breaking down on the road. Therefore, prior to your road trip get your car or SVU or van serviced and filled up with gas. Some travelers do rent a car for road trips to avoid adding mileage and wear and tear on their own vehicle. Consider downloading the “Around Me” app which will give you a list of gas stations in your area while on the road. Check out the post “The Mega Load of Must Have Travel Apps” for a comprehensive list of apps for air and ground travel.
3) Driving Routes: Map out several driving routes to your destination in case of traffic or accidents. The Waze app is a good one to have for this purpose. If your car does not have its own navigation system, bring a GPS device. I know your cell phone is an option but why use up your data and drain the battery? But, I know you will have a cell phone car charger with you (see #5)
4) Interesting Pit Stops: When planning a road trip, look up interesting and historic places along your route in case you want to stop and explore. This will be great if you have children in tow.
5) Packing Items: Be sure to pack your cell phone car charger and/or external chargers. Pack lots of water, snacks and a cooler with food. I prefer to have my own healthy meals vs. stopping at fast food places. In addition, eating at restaurants takes up a lot of time. If you do decide to stop at a restaurant, use the Yelp app to find one with good reviews in that area. Pack items for children to occupy their time including games, books and tablets with downloaded movies. Bring toilet paper, napkins, wet wipes and hand sanitizers since you will be using public bathrooms.
6) Rest Areas: Even if you do not have to use the bathroom and even if you are not hungry, it is a good idea to get out of your car every few hours to walk around. This will keep your circulation moving and help prevent deep vein thrombosis. I prefer stops at official city or state designated rest areas.
7) Sleep: When planning a road trip this tip is very important. Get a good night’s sleep prior to your trip. If you plan on leaving early in the morning, be sure to rest the day prior. If you start to feel sleepy during your drive, pull over at a rest area or at the nearest exit. Drink some caffeine, eat, rest and get back on the road. Or, park, lock the doors and take a nap. If it is nighttime and you need a longer period of sleep, check into a hotel.
I hope you have found these 7 tips for planning a road trip helpful! Are you planning a road trip this year? If so, share your thoughts with us below! If you live in the Atlanta area be sure to read my post “Top 6 Atlanta Road trip Ideas.”
Dr. Nadeen White is a "Blogger by Day, Physician by Night". She is an award-winning travel blogger, Amazon bestselling author and speaker. The Sophisticated Life Blog covers affordable luxury travel, culinary travel and wine. Her domestic and international travel guides gets people to the destinations of their dreams. So, if you are living the sophisticated life or desire to do so, this is the blog for you!