Tasked with planning the perfect road trip for you and your friends? If so, there are numerous aspects you need to consider before hitting the highway in search of adventure.
In this guide, we’ll cover all the bases that will ensure you have a memorable trip, no matter where you go this summer.
The absolute essentials
It might not be the most exciting part of planning a road trip, but covering the essentials will allow you to get preparations that will guard your finances and personal safety out of the way first so you can focus on the fun stuff.
The first order of business: auto insurance. If you own your car, you already have this, but make sure you have documentation confirming your coverage stowed away in the glove compartment before hitting the road.
If you normally live a car-free life but are renting a vehicle to go on a road trip, an insurance policy will be presented to you as an option by your rental agency.
Often, they can be on the expensive side, leading many to decline – we don’t recommend foregoing insurance entirely, as all it takes is one fender bender to ruin your holiday.
Instead of risking a repair bill in the thousands of dollars (or in the case of an accident, a civil suit which can put you on the hook for a lot more), opt to get a better insurance deal online.
Internet-based firms like Bonzah don’t have the overhead their established competitors have, allowing them to offer better rates. Check them out and save money by buying protection you most definitely need.
Secondly, make sure you have a fully-stocked emergency kit in the trunk of your car. Inside, you’ll have everything needed to deal with a car break down, as well as minor and major injuries. Candles, chocolate squares, and jumper cables will provide light, sustenance, and a means of charging a dead battery, while a reflective blanket, bandages, and CPR mask will help you deal with the aftermath of a serious car accident.
Finally, not only should you have a spare tire and a jack in the back of your car, you should be well-versed on how to actually use the latter tool to remove a flat and put on the former. Many car owners have these two essentials in the trunk of their vehicles, but never actually learn how to change a tire – trying to figure this out on the side of the road won’t just waste your time, it will put you at risk of injury and/or damage your car.
Learn how to change a tire before hitting the road – if you have no desire to do this, purchase a membership in an organization like the AAA (American Automobile Association), as these bodies offer services like roadside assistance, which will perform this task for you at no charge.
Road trip snacks
Inevitably, the long days spent en route to your destination will mean that the occupants of your car will get hungry and thirsty, often at different times. To keep on an efficient schedule and make up the miles you need to get to where you’re going, it helps to have a collection of road trip snacks in your vehicle.
Before leaving on your trip, fill a giant cooler with ice and pack it full of water, chocolate milk, popsicles, ice cream, cheese sticks, and other treats which need to be kept cool in a warm vehicle.
Treats which don’t require refrigeration can be stored in a duffle bag: jerky, chips, gummy bears, and others will make for munchies that will make sure you and travel mates in the back seat will stay happy campers.
Road trip games for adults
We all had games we played in the car growing up – some of them, like 20 questions and the license plate game, port well over to adulthood. Some, though, are ones we would have never dared to do with our parents in the car.
Cards Against Humanity is a prime example, as it pits you against your car mates in a contest you say the most salacious, taboo things possible. Never Have I Ever, similarly, can get rather raunchy in a hurry, so it is also a great choice if you are looking to play games that are spicy in nature.
Want to play something a little less crass, but definitely adult? ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’ will test your knowledge of Hollywood, while ‘Don’t Say It’ will give you the chance to call out your friends for slipping up mentally, while taxing your brain to avoid doing the same. ??In the latter game, those who say a forbidden word are obligated to contribute money towards the snack and/or alcohol pool.
Best road trip songs
As you pilot your ride through some of the best landscapes in America and Canada, you’ll want a set list of killer tunes to provide a soundtrack for your wanderings. Yes, it is fun and intriguing to listen to what local radio stations have to offer, but it is also a truism the further you get from the city, the wonkier the tunes that local DJs choose to spin.
As hard as it is to believe, there are places (mostly in the American West and the mountains of Western Canada) where all signals fade to snow (even Sirius XM). When either of the aforementioned two scenarios happen, you’ll want to have your own roster of tunes ready to go.
In general, the best road trip tunes are the ones that are setting you and your friend’s world on fire at the moment, but if you are looking to add some campy traditional road trip songs to the mix, there are a few that come to mind.
Give some consideration to songs like ‘Born to Run’ by Bruce Springsteen, ‘Sweet Caroline’ by John Denver, or ‘Take it Easy’ by The Eagles – there are certainly more classics out there which pair well with road trips, so do your research beforehand and have fun with the process.
Road trip apps
The information age, thanks to the rise of smartphones, has finally disrupted the road trip, as apps have been launched which have greatly enhanced the whole experience.
Waze is the best known of these, as it alerts drivers to cheap gas stations, construction, traffic jams, and even speed traps.
Google Maps have effectively replaced paper maps (download maps for offline use, as you may drive into dead zones at various points in your journey), while iExit tells you about the services situated within a short drive of interstate exits.
Check out the app store for more options, as new platforms which could revolutionize your road trip are launched all the time.