One great way to spend a few extra days this summer is road trip. If you can avoid the stress that is.
It’s a fantastic way to broaden your horizons, see the local and far flung sites, as well as neighboring cities and states, all while enjoying in the summer.
There is the prospect of amazing conversations and great music. Spend a lot of time outdoors and meeting a lots of interesting people.
You’d think that the best way to do such a thing would be just to jump in the car and go. But there is the down side to that; particularly if you have children.
There is little that will spoil a car trip quicker than an avoidable breakdown. Or discovering you have only the wrong thing or worse, nothing to listen to or talk about on a really boring stretch of road to that wonderful location.
The last thing anybody wants is bickering kids in the back seat or board adults in the front.
Oh and if your silly enough to be unprepared for car sickness…
Contradiction: A Well Planed, Spontaneous Road Trip?
Your road trip can still be spontaneous in that you don’t have to know were you are going to until you decide to go. Just make sure that you make preparation in advance for the possibility of one.
Spontaneity is most effective if you prepare for it well in advance.
So how do you plan for a summer road trip?
Prepare your car
So you’ve just realized that you have fee time so you decide to just go. Great! But wouldn’t it be great if a few weeks earlier or even a few days ago you had prepared a list of things you need to take just in case you have such a revelation down the track?
You’re going to be putting several hundred, if not several thousand miles on your car during a road trip. Arrange for a full service on your car.
You should do this anyway on a regular basis but do it now and then you can be spontaneous with significantly less risk.
Then sign up for roadside assistance just in case something happens and make sure your insurance is up to date.
Choose a destination
Maybe you could have a list of desired destinations. Include both mainstream tourist destinations as well as places off the beaten path. Sometimes it’s a good idea to just show up at a city and see what happens.
Try to get a mix of both highways and country back roads. Be careful of the back roads however if your care is not built for it. Broken axles are not fun.
Plan where you plan to sleep each night. Of course, plans can change and you can end up at a different motel. But it still helps to have a plan to start with.
GPS phones some times get it wrong. Don’t be afraid to ask locals when you get there and buy a couple different maps of the area(s) you plan on driving. Having different maps helps, just in case one is a little off.
What to take
Maybe in your list of desired destinations you could have against each a list of things to grab on your way out the door or from the shops on your way.
Including motion sickness tablets if you need them, food, drinks, first aid kit, hats, sunscreen, appropriate footwear, bats and balls etc. if the place you are going lends itself to that. And an umbrella for a turn in the weather.
Your car should already be stocked with CD or other media format, full of a selection of stuff for all tastes.
Make sure you also have garbage bags, as there’s going to be a lot of trash generated from all the food wrappers and drink bottles.
Remember driving in the sun, even with shades and sun blockers down can still cause a sunburn.
Don’t take electronic games or videos for the kids in the back seat unless it is a very long drive. The idea is to talk, not tune out.
If you have conversational lulls during a road trip, one great way to pass the time is through conversational games.
For example, the “Three Truths One Lie” game, where you tell three truths and one lie and the other person has to guess which is the lie, is a great one.
Look up conversational games on the net and play the ones that excite you most when there’s a break in conversation.
Driving is a great way to deepen relationships, see new places and enjoy the summer sun. But only with some basic preparation or it could be the road trip from hell.