The summer driving months are coming to an end but there is still time to get that one final road trip in before the snow falls. If you are considering a road trip, it is important to do a little planning before taking to the highway. Here on some tips that should get you started.
Choose your friends wisely
If you are planning on hitting the road, being confined to a small place will be even harder if you don't get along with your travel companion. A trip can be a good way to get to know someone or cement a relationship that's already in place, so choose a friend that doesn't want to make you hit the go go gadget seat ejection button.
Find cheap gas and fill up
It could save you loads of money to fill up where gas is cheapest. There are plenty of resources on the internet to locate which states and areas have the cheapest gas prices, so utilize them when planning your pumping. Chicago gas is not going to be as cheap as gas in Timbuktu, so don't get caught on 'E' in a major city.
Bring a good ol' fashioned paper map
Although there are many advantages to the latest GPS and phone mapping systems, technology is not always reliable. A paper map can never run out of battery or service, so it is always necessary to have one just in case. Not to mention you can write on it if you want to save locations for later or just create a little road trip memento to read years later.
Drive the speed limit
A road trip should be a more carefree drive than trying to make it to school on time or McDonalds by 10:30 in the morning for breakfast so take your time while driving. A moving violation will really put a damper on the trip, not to mention make it cost way more than it should, all the while keeping you as safe as possible, so follow the signs.
Allow extra time
When taking a road trip it is important to expect the unexpected and leave time for it. This could mean allowing time to change a tire or leaving time to stop and see some sights along the way. One of the best features of the United States is the interconnectedness and vast amount of road systems. This allows road trippers to see things they could never see otherwise, so set aside some time to enjoy some things the highway offers.
Get plenty of sleep and avoid unnecessary distractions
Make sure you are sleeping enough the night before and are also alternating driving with other passengers. Plan on bringing pillows and blankets for sleeping in the car. It is just as important to avoid distractions as it is to avoid being sleepy. No one is going to care that you broke your Fruit Ninja record on your phone if you rear end the car in front of you.
Keep your distance
It is increasingly safer the further you are away from the car in front of you, especially if it is a truck that won't be able to see you. The time you save tailgating someone is minimal at best and will never be worth it if that driver has to stop unexpectedly.
Get your car checked out
Before leaving make sure your car is as safe as possible. Head to a local service shop, rather than an expensive dealership, and have your brakes, engine, oil and other fluids checked before hitting the road. This will save hassle, time, money and potentially lives, so get it done before hitting the road.