Road trips are a great way to explore the country. They are convenient, offer lots of adventure and are quite cheap when compared to air travel. However, sometimes long drives can make for cranky kids, parents or friends.
To make your first road trip a success, it’s important to properly plan and anticipate the unexpected. Here are five tips to make your first road trip unforgettable.
Pick A Speed and Stick with It
One of the most important things you need to do while driving is to maintain a steady speed. Driving at a steady speed with more acceleration and braking is safer and consumes less fuel. Data from the Automobile Association (AA) in the UK shows that a vehicle at 136km/h (85mph) consumes about 25% more fuel than at 112km/h (70mph) for a given distance.
So be sure to drive smoothly using the highest gear at low RPM. You can use cruise control where possible to enable a steady speed. Additionally, ensure you have a comfortable degree of power in case you need to pass or maneuver quickly.
An important point worth mentioning is to use a car that is in good condition. If your vehicle isn’t in working order, consider renting one. Reputable car leasing companies, intelligentcarleasing.com for example, have a wide variety of vehicles and offer competitive prices.
Ride by Sunrise, Park by Sunset
It’s always a great idea to depart in the wee hours of the morning and park by sunset. Getting on the road early helps you beat the traffic and gives you the opportunity to see many beautiful sights along the way. Additionally, driving during the day is safer than driving at night. Statistics from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety show that fatal accidents are four times higher at night than during the day.
Just make sure to get a good night’s rest (at least seven hours) before hitting the road.
Avoid eating heavy meals while on the road. Heavy foods can make you feel sleepy and even cause a lot of discomfort during your trip. Consider eating frequently and in smaller amounts.
Additionally, avoid “bad” foods – foods that drain your energy and deflate your mood. Some foods to avoid include chocolate, sugary drinks, cookies, cakes, French fries and potato chips. You may consider packing your cooler with healthy snacks including fresh fruits, veggies, dried seaweed snacks, almonds and hard-boiled eggs.
Set Destinations, Not Expectations
While planning is essential to making your first road trip a success, keeping the plans flexible will help you get the most out of your trip. Be sure to keep an open mind and go with the flow – you never know when fun and interesting opportunities arise.
Additionally, expect anything on your road trip. Messy accidents, road constructions and bridges being out of service can slow you down along the way. However, try not to stress about these inconveniences – they may make a good story someday.
Reviews are Good. Locals are Better
Review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are great sources of travel information; but locals will give you more authentic, credible recommendations. They will give you the inside scoop on where to eat, shop, stay and find entertainment.
Road trips are a fun way to experience the country. With a little planning, the trip will be a success for everyone.
Disclosure – I have teenagers who constantly need something and a husband who thinks items like race cars and boats are toys. So, throughout the blog you will find affiliate links that enable me to buy a bottle or two or three of wine to keep my sanity intact.