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Summer Road Trip Tips

This is the time of year when many people organize road trips, which makes sense. While some parts of the world experience decent weather year-round, summer is when you can count on good weather – and, in particular, good driving weather – in more places. And although a good road trip includes a list of stops along the way that you and your friends want to see, the reasons to road trip aren’t usually tied to sight-seeing. Instead, as the saying goes, the journey really is the destination.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that your best friends won’t necessarily make the best road trip partners. There are fairly specific qualities that make someone a good candidate for a companion on a road trip, and it’s the kind of thing you want to find out in advance – not midway through the plains states when you really wish you had stayed home.

So when you’re ready to plan a road trip, here are a few things to consider:

  • Pick your travel companions wisely. Talk about what you all want to get out of the trip, how each person travels, what kinds of accommodation people prefer, and what stops everyone considers essential. And don’t overlook topics like what kind of music people like, what road food they’re into, whether they’re up for splitting driving duties, etc.
  • Get a thorough pre-trip inspection done on your car. Even if one of your fellow road trippers is a mechanic, the last thing you want to do is be stuck on the side of a road somewhere doing car repair. Still, even with a pre-trip inspection, don’t forget to pack a car safety/emergency kit in the trunk.
  • Bring (or buy en route) a good road map. Get a map that’s specifically meant to navigate by, not one that’s pretty or that comes free with the newspaper. Having the best handheld GPS unit is great, but having a good map as a backup is always advisable.

Are you planning a road trip this summer? Are there any road trip tips you think are essential to think about before hitting the highway? Let us know in the comments.

photo by Unhindered by Talent