Going on a road trip is the adventure of a lifetime, and something many of us considers a favourite daydream; the open road, with no plan or timetable – just exploring, friendship and freedom.
However, a poorly planned road trip can quickly turn from dream to nightmare if you don’t plan for it properly – make sure you avoid these common road trip mistakes.
- Forgetting to Pack Entertainment
Although road trips are the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with friends, that doesn’t mean you won’t need a break from each other on the road – spending so much time in each other’s pockets inevitable leads to a little tension. Make sure you pack plenty of books and CDs (for when you inevitably run out of battery), and that everyone has downloaded movies and playlists ready to go onto their phones. You should also make sure your car game repertoire is up to scratch!
- Not Knowing How to Fix Problems
On any road trip, especially a long one, you will probably run into some kind of car problem at one point or another. To avoid getting stuck in the middle of nowhere (which is not only tedious but potentially dangerous), make sure at least one person on the trip has basic mechanical knowledge and equipment to sort out common problems and change a tyre. You should also make sure your insurance policy offers roadside assistance in case of a problem you can’t fix.
- Not Checking Road Conditions
Although you will be covered for any damage outside your control, you should still check the conditions of any roads you plan to explore, especially of there’s been any recent storms or difficult weather as this can damage roads and make them dangerous to drive on. It’s also possible that the road ahead will simple be closed due to road works or other reasons, meaning you have to turn back. Always make sure you have access to up to date route information!
- Not Making Enough Stops
Remember, half the point of a road trip is that you don’t have a particular timetable or plan – you’re just exploring. So don’t skimp on the stops! Being cooped up in a car for hours on end without enough opportunities to stretch your legs or use the bathroom is bound to cause crankiness, so make sure you stop regularly to enjoy the surroundings and keep everyone’s spirits up.
Most of the pitfalls that ruin a road trip are easily avoidable with a little forward planning, and these are the top three road trip mistakes to avoid.