You’ve decided to go on a road trip – great news. Wherever you choose to go – America or Europe, for instance, you’ll cover loads of ground and see some amazing sights at your own pace. But before you hit the road, here are ten road trip tips to help you prepare:
10 Road Trip Tips
1. Check your licence
When you’re driving abroad, you’ve got to hold a licence that’s valid for the country or countries you’re visiting. Check on requirements for the countries or states you will be visiting ahead of time to save yourself a headache later on.
2. Get the right insurance
Accidents happen, whether it’s your fault or not. Some insurers cover you when someone else is to blame, but others won’t. You need to check the details, including how much your premium will go up too should an accident occur.
3. Give the car a once over
If you’re hiring a car, make sure you take sufficient time to check for any damage. Document anything you see with the sales assistant so that you don’t get charged for it when you return the car. It’s a good idea to take a few photos as back-up proof as well.
4. Designate a navigator
Plan your route in advance and get someone in the car to keep track of your progress. Don’t be afraid of drawing on maps if you’re getting your kids to help navigate.
5. Keep the kids busy
If you’re travelling with kids, you’ve got to take even more preparation steps. Make sure they’ve got plenty of water and snacks, as well as games to keep them occupied. But be wary of tablets and books making them car sick. Pack their favorite CD for a singalong break from the screens.
6. Make plenty stops
Everyone needs to have a bit of fresh air and to stretch their legs at regular intervals. Take your time and stay safe by stopping often, make an adventure out of your stops by choosing towns and viewing spots for your breaks.
7. Check parking is provided with your accommodation
There’s nothing worse than turning up to your hotel after a busy day to be hit with unexpected charges for parking. In places where space is a premium – in cities, for instance – it’s likely you’ll have to pay extra for parking, but check for discounts in advance.
If you’re camping, double check you don’t have to carry your tent and equipment too far.
8. Pay for roadside assistance
Minimize the stress of breaking down by paying for roadside assistance. It might seem like an unnecessary additional cost at the time, but should you break down, you’ll thank yourself.
9. Learn to pack well
You don’t want to just throw stuff in the car. Put the essentials – such as water – within reach and pack everyone an overnight bag they can be responsible for.
10. Check the country-specific laws
Around the world, there are some strange driving laws. In France, for example, you must carry an unused breathalyzer on board and in Belarus, you could be hit with a hefty fine for driving a dirty car. It’s best to be aware of these rules.
What road trips have you been on? Share your experiences and road trip tips with us.