Whether it’s around the holidays, at the 4th of July or during spring break, you may find yourself with time off. Once you’ve spent time with the family, are full of festive cheer, and have seen all the fireworks you can handle, what else is there to do? Well, depending on the weather and where you live, it can be a great idea to take a quick road trip, either just for the day or overnight somewhere new and exciting. But before you hit the road, grab your BABY-G shock resistant watch, prep your car and make sure you know where you’re going.
In fact, even though your smartphone’s GPS system can get you from A to B, you need to make sure you get service in the region to which you are traveling, the Travel Channel noted. Check your service provider to see if you will incur any roaming fees if you go out of a certain area, and to just be sure that there is reception where you’re heading. Also, don’t forget the charger: A phone is useless when it runs out of power.
Get your car checked
While you’re still in the planning stages of your trip, it can be a good idea to take your car in to ensure it is in good working order – especially recommended if you are driving a hand-me-down. If there are any concerns, see if your friend is willing to offer up his or her vehicle. Additionally, the Travel Channel advised asking a mechanic to take a look under the hood, change the oil if necessary and replace the wiper blades if they are starting to look elderly. Been a really long time since your last tune-up? Drop off the car for the afternoon well before your intended departure date and time.
Pick a destination
It can be fun to just drive and explore, but it is even more exciting to have a destination in mind for the end of your trip. You can head out and hike in a local park, see a unique landmark, or drive to roam around a nearby city. Just make the goal a group decision – it will be more fun to have input from others who are coming with you. You can also collectively decide if you’d like to stay overnight, and may pool your resources for accommodations. For example, if a group are going to a city, look for home rentals on Airbnb or VRBO for the night to save money on hotel rooms – you will also have more fun taking over a house together. If you choose to head to a more natural setting, look into camping options, if the season permits.
Use a paper map
Want to really get into the spirit of the trip? Momondo suggested you seek out a paper map and track your route the old-fashioned way, rather than relying on Google Maps or another online tracking system. Designate one person to navigate, and ask them to help with directions, road changes and landmarks.
As always, let someone know where you plan to drive before you leave, and give them a copy of your route, just in case. Other than that, all you need is a sense of adventure, a great playlist and some delicious snacks, and you’re ready to set out on the open road.
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