Road-Tripping: Road-Tripping Hints and Basics
Presented by Charles L Harmon
Road-Tripping can be done for a variety of reasons, but whatever the motivating force behind the decision to go on a trip, some basic guidelines can be helpful. As with anything in life, use common sense. You need to do some planning to have an enjoyable time without unnecessary frustration or worry.
Some things to do before you leave:
-Determine your destination and what route you’re taking (that’s assuming you have a specific destination; none is ok too). The general idea in Road-Tripping is to know what your purpose is.
Usually it’s to get from one place to another, but there are also many more complicated scenarios, such as “swing down to
–Consider any Time constraints you may have. Do you have to be there by a certain date? Do you need to be back home by a certain date? How long will it take you? How fast can you go? How much time will any side trips or stops likely take? The less time constraints you have, the more freedom you have to relax and enjoy the journey. You can cheat by flying, but flying doesn’t count as a road trip. Sorry you need to drive for a road trip.
–How you will get food and shelter. Food: Eating out? Packing for your road tripping journey? Shelter: Sleeping in hotels? Sleeping in the car? Sleeping in a tent? Sleeping in a sleeping-bag out in the rough? Any of these, or any combination of them, can be a valid choice. If you plan on eating out and/or staying at hotels, make sure to estimate the costs first to make sure you’re not embarrassed by running of money. Remember if you have an Auto Club card, hotels and possibly food might bring a discount at the right places.
–Finances, don’t short-change yourself. Figure out how much money it’s likely to cost to go on your trip. Factor in prices in different geographic regions. If you’re not sure of the prices in different geographic locations, estimate high. There are always unforeseen events that could occur and cost you more money than you expected. Estimate your costs on the high side anyway. A good idea is to take a credit card, if you have one, as backup for unseen emergencies or expenses.
Make sure to estimate:
- Gas, if you are driving.
- Food, if you haven’t packed in abundance.
- The cost of expected lodging.
- Entertainment, if you plan on stopping doing anything interesting that costs money.
- Bills at home if you are going on a very long trip or vacation.
If you will be gone road tripping long enough to affect bill payments at home you may want to consider automatic bill payments, or setting up a month or two of advance payments. You don’t want to return home to find your electricity off, or your water cut off. Think about your existing bill payments and when they become due if you will be on the road more than a week or two.
Stay aware of these issues on your trip as well. It won’t do you a bit of good to plan everything out perfectly and then be unaware your food is disappearing twice as fast as you had anticipated, or other some such unplanned eventuality. If you’re on a tight budget, pay close attention to how much you spend each day. Then you can determine whether you are likely to make it to your destination and make adjustments if you won’t. Keep your goal in mind, but no need to be fixated on it.
Perhaps you’ll end up doing something completely different, who knows? That’s not always a bad thing. The important thing is to enjoy your road tripping journey. No matter what happens, you took that plunge, and you’ll remember it for the rest of your life. I’ll say it again because it is vital: enjoy the trip. It’s not all about the destination. It’s the fun in getting there that is often the good part.
Useful Road Tripping Hints
Get a really good road atlas. The auto clubs, if you belong, provide free ones and personal service.
Talk to some people in various states you plan on passing thru beforehand (the internet is a wonderful source of this) to get an idea about the area.
If you like to read, bring a book. When you are finished with it you can sometimes trade it for one you haven’t read yet.
Don’t take extra stuff you aren’t likely to need. Leave it at home. This is especially true if you are not in your own vehicle to lug things around in.
Take these things into consideration and you will have a more successful road tripping adventure. Forget some, like planning, then be prepared for problems and inconveniences. Road trips are fun and an adventure. Use these road trip hints and take one and enjoy it.