Summer— it’s finally here! No more school, winter gloves, or dark days. Whether you’re off from college and have time to spare, or are looking for ways to keep your kids entertained while they’re not in school, a road trip is the way to go. Keep in mind, it’s going to be long. With hundreds of miles between each stop, you want to make sure you and your passengers are comfortable and entertained along the way. To make the most of your upcoming vacation, follow these tips to have the time of your life!
Finding the Right Car
Probably the most important part of planning your road trip is the car. Sorry college students, your friends 1990 minivan with shag carpet may not be the smartest vehicle of choice. As you plan your trip, you want to keep your passengers, yourself, and your children safe. Look into the logistics of how many miles you’ll be traveling and compare that to how many miles your car has. If you and your husband have enough money saved, you can even consider trading in your current car and upgrade to a certified used Audi for sale, for example. Used cars don’t necessarily mean bad value. Through research and negotiation, you can start your road trip with a new ride that will get you to your destination safely!
Making a Budget
Next in line comes the budget. Money shouldn’t weigh you down when it comes to enjoying life. But being conscious of your finances and budgeting correctly is important. Start by saving up months, even years, in advance. If you’re a college student, pick on a part-time job to do on weekends. Or, start a side hustle like taking professional photographs with your fancy camera. With budgeting apps, you can start saving up to go the distance, enjoy some views, and learn about your country’s culture!
Choose the Route
Here’s the fun part: planning the route! With so many places to go across the country, you may not know where to begin. Once you have your budget set, things will be easier. To start, calculate the following expenses along the way:
- Gas prices from state to state and how many miles your car gets per gallon
- Hotel, motel, Airbnb, and campsite prices
- A rough estimate of food prices
Then, determine the places, monuments, or parks you want to see. Plan your road trip with key destinations in mind. And don’t forget the kids! Find activities that they’ll enjoy even though it may not be on the top of your list.
Prepare the Car
The day has finally come! It’s time to embark on life’s next biggest journey. Preparing the car for a week-long or month-long road trip can be daunting at first. The best advice? Don’t pack too much. Carefully consider each piece of clothing, every crumb of food, and children’s game going into your car. You’re going to want leg room and room for souvenirs to bring back, so pack lightly! Our suggestion for road trip essentials include:
- A cooler for drinks and snacks
- Bag of road trip activities with games and books
- A comfy pillow for long stretches in between destinations
- A First Aid Kit just in case someone gets a scratch or blister
- Extra personal hygiene products such as deodorant, shampoo, soap, and toothpaste
- Roadside assistance coverage in case you get a flat tire or dead battery
- Your license, registration, and insurance cards
There are so many “little” things you may forget to bring, such as your car charger or headphones. But, writing down a list of must-haves and checking before you leave will set you up for a pleasurable ride!
Create a Playlist
Let’s face it. Being stuck in the car with your friends or family for 12 hours straight can do something to a person. To avoid fights, arguments, and headaches, create a bomb playlist that everyone can sing along to! Many streaming services can whip up a collection of songs under any genre for numerous occasions. If you get sick of songs being played on repeat, look into podcasts to change it up. From murder mystery podcasts to history facts you may have forgotten about, there’s a podcast for everything!
Time to Hit the Road
Phew! You’re packed and ready to go. Planning the perfect summer road trip takes time and effort. But, if you follow these tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to a summer to remember!