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How to Prepare for Road Trips

When it comes to road trips, preparation is everything. Knowing what to do before you take off and what to do if different things happen is important. The worst thing you want to do is put yourself in to a compromising situation because you did not plan ahead. This guide is going to cover how to best prepare for your road trips, and what all you need to keep in mind both before and during the trip. It will not be able to cover everything (as it is a pretty comprehensive subject) but the goal is going to be to cover it the best I can. With that said, you can feel free to contact me with any additions you think should be added (my name on Bitcointalk is Ranlo). With that said, let us get started!

Deciding What Vehicle to Take

In most cases, we have multiple options when it comes to taking a vehicle. If you are traveling with friends or family, the chances are that there are going to be more than one vehicle to choose from. Doing so, however, is much easier said than done. There are some factors you need to consider before jumping in one and taking off. These include:

Gas Efficiency

Road trips can be long, and driving a vehicle that only gets 12 miles per gallon is going to cost significantly more than one that goes 30+ miles per gallon. This cost, while it may not seem too big on a week to week or month to month basis, is pretty large. You will quickly find that out when taking off, especially if driving across the country or other very large distances. The amount of money that you spend will increase significantly, and it may leave you without the ability to pay for the entire trip.

Even if money is not a concern, think about the number of stops that must be made. Filling up a vehicle that gets a third of the gas mileage generally means filling it up three times as often. This adds more time and can create complications if traveling to a more remote area that has gas stations few and far between. There are places, for example, where gas stations are not seen for a hundred miles or more. Ending up in one of these areas and running out of fuel is not a good thing, and it can lead to a significantly longer trip or even dangerous situations. Take this all in to consideration when picking the vehicle.

Space Concerns

When it comes to getting things packed, you need a vehicle that can hold everything. Along with this, you need to consider the amount of room the people need in the vehicle, and whether or not you need more luxurious space (for laying down or stretching out during the drive, for example). If so, you are going to need a larger vehicle than if you are taking almost nothing and do not have this need. The best way to handle this is to decide how much room you will need for people, and then how much stuff you plan to take (and how well you are going to be able to pack it). A well packed vehicle can hold a lot more in a smaller amount of space than if you just throw everything in there. Along with this, having stuff under the seats or in the floor board will open up room and everyone can still be comfortable if they are sitting properly.

I have personally traveled with few problems in sports cars, though it is hard to argue against how awesome it is to be in an SUV or van; the amount of extra space is pretty massive and it definitely makes a big difference on how well the traveling goes, as well as the mood everyone is in. With that said, it is more than doable even in a smaller car (or on a motorcycle, as I have done in the past as well). You just have to make it all work for you!

When you are going through this, please take careful consideration as to how long you will be driving and how often you will be stopping. A no stop trip that is going to last 6 hours is going to be vastly different than one where you plan to stop every 2 hours. Planning ahead for this is important because longer trips will have a much higher toll on your comfort level.

Is it Dependable?

One of the worst decisions people make when it comes to road trips is that of choosing a vehicle that simply is not dependable. This is a horrible idea because if the vehicle breaks down on the trip, getting it repaired or finishing up your journey can be a huge hassle. Along with this, it can increase the cost significantly, since you will have to just choose a mechanic wherever you are, as opposed to using your trusted one back home. It is definitely possible to make it on a long journey in a vehicle that has given you problems in the past, but it really is not worth it unless there are no other options. Always pick the vehicle that gives the least problems. If you have one that needs repairs every week or breaks down even after short trips, you are not going to want to take the risk of driving it further away from home.

It is worth noting that if you have the capability to fix your own vehicle, you will still want to think twice before taking it on a trip if you foresee that there may be problems. The issue here is that while you may not need to pay someone else to fix it for you, you are still taking the time to deal with it. As we always say, “time is money.” You want to enjoy your trip; not spend the entire time just trying to repair one problem after another!

Comfort

Something to consider when you pick your vehicle is how comfortable you are going to be in it. Some cars (especially sports cars) are less comfortable than more luxury vehicles. This is important to consider because if you are going to be driving or riding as a passenger, you want to do so comfortably. Things you will want to be considering are:

  • A/C and heater (do they work? How well?)
  • Radio (this is one of the most popular ways to entertain yourself when going on a road trip)
  • Video (if you have a vehicle with a DvD player or something, that can really enhance the experience)
  • Soft seats that are comfortable (there are far too many vehicles with seats that you just do not want to spend too much time in)

Along with these, you also want to consider how well the vehicle handles. If you can feel every single bump you go over and it is annoying, that is going to make it much harder to sleep when you are out on the road and may be something that you want to avoid.

Packing Items – What You Need

When going on road trips, there are a lot of items you will need. While some of them can be obtained while out on the trip or may be provided to you, it is better to prepare ahead of time and just take everything you think will be needed. It is much better to have more than you need (in most cases) than to need things you do not have. And when it comes to packing up, preparation is important. The better you prepare, the better off you are going to be. The last thing you want is to end up missing things and remembering them when it is too late to head back; especially important things like your phone or wallet.

Picking Important Items

The first thing you need to do is start choosing what all is important to you. Some examples of this are:

  • Swimming suits if you plan to be going to an area with a pool (keep in mind some hotels have indoor pools as well, so weather may not be an issue)
  • Snacks (these are pretty much a necessity for any trip; they help curb appetites while traveling and lead to reduced stops)
  • Drinks (if nothing else, you should at least take bottles of water. This is a necessity for any trip, because keeping hydrated is important. Note that you may want to avoid a lot of soft drinks or things like tea, though, as they will lead to an increased need to use the restroom. This means more stops and a longer destination trip)

Travel


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