Follow these tips to plan the perfect summer roadtrip.
The summer roadtrip has become somewhat of a rite of passage for both the young and the young at heart. Perfectly suited for the adventurous, roadtrips allow for both creativity and improvisation, and they provide an exciting way to explore yourself and your surroundings. Whether you want to retrace the famed Route 66 across the country or simply rediscover your home state's back roads, follow these tips to plan the perfect summer roadtrip.
Choose the Right Travel Companions
You and your companions will be spending nearly 24 hours a day together in close quarters, so it is vitally important that your interests and personalities mesh.
Before hitting the road, meet with your prospective travel companions and talk about your goals of the trip. Everyone should communicate what they want to see and do, how much they want to spend, how open they are to itinerary changes and at what pace they want to go. You likely won't agree on everything, but you should have some common interests and a willingness to build a measure of flexibility into your roadtrip.
Plan Your Route
One of the most fun parts of planning a roadtrip is brainstorming your itinerary. Generate ideas by browsing guide books or doing an online search. Look for scenic routes around the country through the National Scenic Byways Program, check out the Tourism Offices Worldwide Directory for travel info about all 50 states, use the National Park Service website to locate national parks or search landmarks across the country through HamptomLandmarks.com.
Use this information to create an itinerary, but avoid scheduling every moment of your roadtrip. Stumbling upon unexpected places or taking a few detours is part of the roadtrip experience.
Stay Safe on the Road
To ensure a safe and enjoyable journey, follow these safety tips:
- Stop Often: Your risk of crashing doubles if you are behind the wheel for over eight hours. Plan your trip accordingly, alternate driving with other companions and stop every two hours to use the restroom, stretch your legs and get fresh air.
- Communicate with Home: Leave a copy of your itinerary with someone at home. If you make significant changes, call a loved one so someone always knows where you are.
- Prepare Your Car: Before hitting the road, check the air pressure in your tires, ensure that your fluid levels are proper and check your tires for tread wear. Pack an emergency kit with a pocket knife, emergency contacts, water, a first aid kit, signaling devices and nonperishable food items.