Planning for a Road Trip

The Open Road

Summer is coming and along with it is that longing to jump in the car and drive across the country with the top down and the wind blowing in your hair. Images of exciting times and funny misadventures crowd your mind as you grab your keys and head for the door. But wait! There are a few things you should do to prepare for your trip to make sure it’s not only memorable but enjoyable.

First, decide where you’re going, or at least have a general direction. Leave without any idea at all as to where you want to go and you may end up circling the block a few times. Once you have a destination selected (and if you have the service) give AAA a call. Let them know where you’re going and ask them for a map layout. Within a few days they will have your trip laid out for you with maps of each state you will be traveling through.

Next, decide if you will be traveling solo or taking a companion along. Having a travel buddy can be very beneficial. It allows you to nap along the way to avoid paying for hotels every few hours, it also allows you to have someone to share the experience with, take pictures and of course split the cost of gas and food. If you decide to go alone it would be a good idea to have a cell phone with you, in case you have any type of emergency, also remember to take a car charger. Remember that cell phones can be very expensive out of your local area. Contact your cell phone carrier before you leave to determine if you have long distance and out of area phone coverage.

What should you take with you depends on where your headed and what your doing. If its winter and your headed to New York you need to take a long several layers of clothes, scarves, and mittens. Also, make a stop off at a local store and pick up some pocket warmers to keep your hands and feet warm. If, on the other hand, you are traveling to California for the summer you will need sunglasses, sunscreen and shorts. Regardless of where you are headed, however, you will need the following:

An atlas or map of the United States
Credit or Debit card for emergencies
Cash for tolls and all those little side diners that don’t take credit
Camera (and batteries if it’s a digital one)
Cell phone and charger
Cooler with some drinks and food (snacks that don’t have to be refrigerated)
Good C.D’s or tapes to listen to
License and Insurance information

Finally, the number one thing to take with you on a road trip is (drum roll please) FUN. How do you take fun you ask? Isn’t fun something you have rather than take? Well in order to have fun you have to be willing to have fun. Take a good attitude, patience and an upbeat attitude and even if you do end up circling the block-you’ll still have a great time.

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