If you are planning a family road trip, there is a lot to consider. You will have to decide on a location, attractions, and routes. There are a lot of ways to plan ahead that will help your trip go smoothly.
Decide Your Destination
The first step in planning your trip is deciding where you want to visit. Start with a list of destinations you have always wanted to go before or attractions you want to visit that are near you. Cities often have tourism websites that you can visit to find the latest information on special events, restaurants, attractions, and accommodations. It is a good idea to check these websites to make sure whatever you want to do is open and available to you. Picking a destination can be a family affair where everyone gets a vote on the road trip.
Figure Out What You Want to Do
Once you have picked the place, it’s time to make a plan for what you want to do. Figure out what attractions you want to see including museums, parks, theme parks, shopping, and more. You can plan your days to see and experience different parts of the city. Explore the different restaurants in the area, especially those offering local cuisine that you want to try. You can check websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor to find the top-rated attractions wherever you are visiting. The places you plan to stay may also have information on local attractions that you will want to check out.
Make a List of Stops
When you are planning a road trip, be sure to figure out in advance where you want to stop along the way. Practical stops for fuel and restroom breaks will help break up your trip and give your driver a break. Be sure to pick rest stops that offer food options to keep everyone satisfied. It is always better to take more stops rather than fewer because you never know when traffic is going to delay the time it takes to get to your next stop. This will prevent you from running out of fuel or having cranky passengers. You can also have adventures and experiences at your stops along the way if you will be passing through interesting cities and towns. You may even decide to break up the road trip by staying overnight in interesting locales along the way.
Get Your Car Ready
Before you go on a road trip you will want to prepare your car. Make sure it is up-to-date on its service and get an oil change. Check your tires for any excessive wear or damage, check your tire pressure, and fill them as necessary. Make sure your wiper blades are in good condition. If you are traveling in the winter, be sure you have an ice scraper and snow chains for your tires. Have your brakes and fluid levels checked too. You can also protect your car exterior before you go. A clear bra protects your car from damage from debris and rocks on the road.
Pack What You Need
There’s nothing worse than getting on the road only to realize you forgot something. You can prevent this by making packing lists well in advance. You should plan to pack everything you need and a little extra too. Make sure you pack medicines, snacks, and other essentials. Be sure to bring entertainment options for your passengers, and plenty of charging cords for all of your electronic devices. Be sure to check the weather of where you are going in advance and pack accordingly. Bring a jacket, raincoat, and umbrella even if there isn’t rain in the forecast. It is always a good idea to make sure you have snacks and drinks accessible in the car during your trip.
Plan For Emergencies
While no one hopes for anything to go wrong on a road trip, sometimes they do. In the event of an emergency, you will want to be prepared. First, make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit. Having a AAA membership or another form of roadside assistance can come in handy if you have car troubles while on the road. Make sure you have a spare tire and a jack in your car just in case. Having a solar or battery-powered flashlight is also a good idea. Keep water in your car in case you do happen to break down and get stuck somewhere. If you are traveling during a holiday weekend, you can be sure that you will encounter traffic on your route so bring your patience with you.
Prepare the Day Before
A well-planned road trip really starts the day before. The day before your trip, make sure you have everything packed, double-checking your list. If possible, begin packing the car with the essentials. Double-check your planned route and the weather so you know what to expect on the drive. Make sure you have an agreed-upon time for leaving the next day, with some flexibility built in just in case you do not get out of the door on time. Get a good night’s rest and make sure you eat a good meal before you get on the road.
Book in Advance
Before you leave on your trip you will want to have many things booked in advance. The first thing you should have booked in advance is all of your accommodations. Make sure you have all of your confirmation numbers saved and you know your check-in and check-out times. If you are planning on visiting attractions that have the option to buy tickets in advance, it is always a good idea to do so. Many attractions may sell out the day of, which can derail your plans.
Road trips are a fun way to travel and bond with your family. There is so much to see and experience through the journey and at your chosen destination. Good planning in advance can help you have an unforgettable trip.
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