Contrary to popular belief, road trips are not on the decline. An increasing number of Americans are taking to the road, if the statistics and the number of cars on the road is anything to go by. While they may be going for shorter trips, it is evident that more American families than ever are going for more frequent family trips and vacations.
If you're enamored by the very thought of traversing the land a mile at a time, the following are tips to help make sure your trip is a success:
1. Have a general plan.
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Sure enough, there's no telling what inconveniences you might encounter on your road trip. Over-planning is, therefore, not a good idea. Nonetheless, you don't want to embark on a journey being ill-prepared.
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2. Avoid trouble spots. This is in line with planning ahead. When you go on an extended road trip, you will, more often than not, find yourself in a bit of a pickle at some point. For example, rush hour may find you trying to cross the Hudson River. By planning ahead so you can cross the Hudson at say, 11: 00 a.m. will save you a few headaches.
3. Assign responsibilities. In most cases, every person on the road trip has a travel task they are good at or would rather do. Divvy up and allocate tasks by preference and ability. Some traveling companions can plan the meals while others focus on navigating.
4. Join a roadside assistance service. In addition to protecting you from some of the perils of today's roads, having the contacts that immediately connect you to local mechanics and tow services can save you a lot of trouble. This will prove invaluable if, God forbid, you find yourself stuck in unfamiliar territory.
5. Carry a supplementary phone card along with your cell phone. If you plan to link via cell phone with from out-of-state towns, a reliable phone card that it easy-to-use may come in handy. While you can easily make calls using your credit card, it's an additional hurdle you'd want to jump in case you get yourself in a fix.
6. Have a clean record and all the required documents. Before you go, make sure all your parking and travel tickets are cleared. Also, don't risk travelling without your license, registration and insurance documents. If, for whatever reason, you're pulled over, you want to have all your papers with you.
7. Stay off highways, but wary of some back roads. What's a road trip without some time spent on the country back roads, especially if you're not following a strict travel schedule? However, you want to make sure you hit the more scenic routes, rather than the ones ensconced by unending strip malls. Nothing beats a road trip in which you enjoy stunning views.