Recently, I went on a road trip with some of my girls. I had never traveled further than about 6 hours away by car, so this was new for me. Our total distance was about 700 miles (about 12 1/2 hours on the road). We broke it down into 2 days and had a blast. It was nice to just get away for a little while. For the most part, we had a great trip, but there were a couple of setbacks. Some things were out of our control and others were poor planning on our end. So, here are a list of do's and don'ts for your next road trip!
Get your car checked
If you aren't renting a car, it's important to make sure your car is in tip top shape before you go. We had minor car issues and once everything was cleared, our friends and family didn't think it was safe for us to continue. We had to convince them that we were good to go and the only way we could do that was by letting everyone know the car had been checked out a couple of days before. We would not have felt safe continuing if the car hadn't received a clean bill of health days before.
Travel with people you trust
This is a given. Anything can happen on the road. Make sure the folks who are traveling with you can help out in an emergency. As a general rule, If I'm sitting shotgun, I will not sleep. I'm the second set of eyes for the driver, and also keeping them alert/engaged if we're driving late.
Leave as early as you can
The first leg of our trip was supposed to be 4 hours. It ended up being closer to 7 hours because we left during the peak of rush hour. We spent an hour in traffic in every state we crossed.
Create a driving schedule
If you're driving 6+ hours, make sure there's more than one driver to help out. It's extremely dangerous to drive if you are too tired. Make sure that you don't overdo it and that 1 or 2 other people can help with the driving.
Create an outline of a plan
I'm a huge fan of being flexible when traveling. Book your lodging before you go and have general idea of places you'd like to stop. Set a goal for what time you'd like to leave each destination (and expect delays). But enjoy your free time. Wander around the city. Grab a bite. Enjoy the view. You never know what you'll find when you're in a new city.
Take your time and have a great time
Road trips should be fun. How fun is it to be rushed from place to place? Do not jam pack your itinerary so that you have the time and space to stretch your legs and breathe. At the end of our road trip, we were all exhausted. But instead of rushing to our hotel, we stopped at a waffle house and enjoyed one last meal together. Totally worth losing an hour of travel.
Have you done a road trip before? What are some of your tips for a great time on the road? Let us know in the comments.