With the pandemic dragging on and more flexibility in schedules due to remote school and work, more people are opting for a road trip over flying. These car trips take a little more planning, but offer many rewards along the way. Here are six rules to follow to make sure your road trip goes smoothly.
Make a Budget
Once you know what budget you’re working with, it’ll be much easier to plan your rest stops, meals, and accommodations. An easy way to calculate your estimated gas spend is through an app like GasBuddy. This apps calculates your gas usage based on your car’s make and model, and can also help you find the cheapest gas stations along your route.
Download an Offline Map
If you’re going on a long trip, you’re inevitably going to hit some data-free patches. Google Maps and Maps.me are just two options for downloading an offline map. This way, you won’t have to stress out about the next set of directions when you’re in a dead zone. (Or, you could play it really safe, and pack a paper map.)
Pack Emergency Supplies
Jumper cables, a spare tire, car jack, coolant, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight. These are just a few things to keep in the car when you’re on the road for an extended period. You may not ever end up using any of it, but in case of an emergency, you’ll be glad you have it all.
Don’t Stress About Your Schedule
Sometimes the best pit stops are the ones that you didn’t see coming. Or, well, the ones you don’t plan for but you do see coming because they’re advertised on billboards every mile for the last 50 miles.
Choose Your Vehicle Wisely
There’s no shame for the kind of car you drive, but if you’re going on a long road trip you want to make sure you’re safe. If you’re doubting your vehicle’s ability to make it to your destination, consider renting a car or an RV. The cost just might even out if you’re able to skip the hotel and rent a camper that you can sleep in as well. The gas mileage of some newer cars, hybrids, or electric vehicles can also reduce your gas costs significantly.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
Driving can be exhausting. If you find yourself struggling to stay awake, the safest option is to pull over. Take advantage of rest stops, even if it’s just for 30 minutes of shut-eye. You’ll be grateful for it in the long run.
In addition to these tips, in the case of a pandemic road trip it’s always a good idea to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, and practice social-distancing. Each state in the U.S. has different COVID-19 regulations, so be sure to consider those in your planning.
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