Road trips can be amazingly fun adventures for a solo traveler or a group or family. However, in order to ensure that your trip goes smoothly and according to plan, there are a few things that you can do in order to prepare. From tuning up your car to planning an itinerary to using mobile apps to find cheap hotel rooms, there’s nothing better than being prepared before you leave your driveway so you’re not scrambling.
Tune Up Your Car
If you’re going on a long trip mileage-wise, then you should definitely take your car in for a tune-up and oil change before you set out. This is good for the car and good for you – you don’t want to be broken down on the side of the road for something that could have been prevented had a mechanic given your car a once over. A good place will check your tire pressure, fill your washer fluid, do an inspection of the major points of your car, and ensure your travels will run smoothly.
Prepare Your Itinerary
Sometimes people want to wing it and go without a plan and let the road take them where it will. I have done this before and it can be a very cool experience. But if you’ve only got a certain amount of time and you have certain things you definitely want to accomplish, then you will be better off if you plot out an itinerary first. These days the internet and Google maps makes things almost too easy – it feels like cheating. But start out by making a list of the attractions you want to see, and then do a day by day plan of how long you’ll be traveling, directions, and places to see along the way.
Use The Internet To Check Out New Spots
Websites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and just general web searching can reveal hidden gems for you to check out that you may have never even heard of. Another advantage to doing this sort of searching is that you can check out “local” spots. I personally like to check out “off the grid” type places and avoid the huge tourist traps.
One word of caution – if you’re doing a lot of web browsing and money transactions over the internet, it’s vital to ensure that your computer is protected from malware and viruses. This tech blog can help you choose the best safe software if you’re not sure.
Road Tripping Abroad? Get A Mobile Data Plan
When I was in Japan and walking around Tokyo it was incredibly helpful to have mobile data so I could use Google maps to track my location and ensure that I didn’t get lost. Sure a paper map can do this for you, but I also was able to text my friend as well as quickly search Google if I had a question about something or was wondering if there were any cool local places to check out. The data plan was rather cheap, and worth every penny.