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Four Keys to Planning a Great Road Trip

woman and man looking at a map

The 1991 classic Thelma and Louise is one of the best road trip movies ever made. Aside from exploring feminism and friendships between women, it also deals with real-life issues such as love, longing, camaraderie, and letting go.

Not all of us are on the same journey as Louise and Thelma. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a good old-fashioned road trip with our families and friends.

But before you go, here are a few things to consider.

Tune-Up Your Car

If you plan to run a marathon, would you wake up the day of the race and go for it? Do you think this would be the best way to get a positive result? Who knows, maybe you are a very fit individual, and you will be able to finish. But you might also injure yourself in the process, and you will most likely not achieve your goal time.

On the other hand, if you plan months, consult a physician to ensure everything in your body is working well, and follow an adequate training and nutrition plan, the results might be better than you expected.

The same goes for your car. Why take the risk of not reaching your destination or worse yet, endanger your life and those of your loved ones because of laziness and negligence?

If you are going on a road trip, make sure your car is in top shape and can handle the wear and tear. Take it to your local Nissan or Subaru auto repair shop and check the brakes, tires, timing belt, and head gaskets. A few dollars is a small price to pay not only for your safety but also to have the vacation of your dreams.

Do Research on Your Destination

Americans love road trips. Many of them drive over one thousand miles to reach the destination of their choice. If you think this is a long distance to travel, imagine the feeling you will have when you get there and realize it is a place you don’t like. Wouldn’t that be a major bummer?

Of course, there are few things more exciting than the unknown. Jumping in a car with a couple of friends and seeing where that takes you is exhilarating and, many times, a life-changing experience. No wonder many people see road trips as coming of age adventures that help you find yourself, what you stand for, and what you want.

But that doesn’t mean you need to go out there blind. It wouldn’t hurt to check where you will stay, what you can do, and where you can leave your car.

Asking a few questions at your local travel agency or surfing the net for more information will only make your holiday that much more fulfilling and enjoyable.

Insure Everything

Accidents can and will happen. It is not a matter of being pessimistic or dramatic. Rather, it entails being realistic and well-prepared. Getting the right car and travel insurance will prevent more than a few headaches from popping up.

Remember that little things can also ruin your trip. Your car doesn’t need to fall off a cliff or explode in the middle of the road. It could be something that happens to you. You might lose your wallet and find yourself without money. You could lock your car by accident while the keys are still inside.

Whoever said prevention is the best medicine was right. If it is mandatory to have some insurance when traveling by plane, shouldn’t it be the same when you are in a car?

What You Leave Behind

If you have a dog or a cat, and they cannot join you on your road trip, who will take care of them? Do you have any meetings planned, an appointment at the doctor, or a scheduled visit from your relatives?

As obvious as this might sound, many people fail to properly check their schedules and lifestyles before heading out. Later, when it is too late, they remember things they should have taken care of. In these situations, they are either forced to go back or have to go through unnecessary inconveniences.

Planning and freeing up your schedule are tasks that are very easy to do. If you are going on a romantic road trip with your spouse or special someone and need a babysitter, find one in advance. If your plants need watering or something needs to be taken care of while you are away, have a friend or neighbor commit to doing it.

Or better yet, place a hosting ad on Airbnb so you can make extra money while you are spending your savings.

Going on a road trip is a wonderful experience. If you follow these four tips, it will be an even better one.

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