What to Think About Before You Take a Road Trip
To me, there is nothing better than a good old fashioned road trip, but as I have learned from days gone by, there are some things to think about before you put the key in the ignition.
Summer driving season is coming and I will just never forget the anticipation and sheer joy of going out of town with my family. Dad sweating bullets and cursing as he hitched up the trailer, Mom frantically packing and worrying about the weather and both of them yelling at us kids to get our things together, but whenever we would get to where ever it was we were going, we always had a good time as a family.
First, it's important to have a plan. Not just agreeing on where to go, but where will you stay? Have you called ahead to make sure that the place you’re looking at even has room for you? After a long day of driving, the last thing you want to do before you go to bed is argue over where you’ll be going to bed.
Second, who is going to drive? If you both enjoy driving, then split the driving duties. That way, while one drives, the other can enjoy the scenery or keep the kids apart. Same goes if neither one of you likes driving. Do your fair share. Even if you’re not driving, be a good passenger. That means stay awake, keep the kids entertained, and volunteer to pump gas or check the oil and tires.
Did you know you don't always have to fill every second with talking? It's important to also enjoy the silence. Once you hit the road, it’s not unusual to want to relax and let your mind wander. Just make sure the other person you’re with (if you’re driving without kids in the car) is OK with the fact that you just want to zone out.
Who is going to rule the radio? This is a must. Since you’re not going to be able to listen to this radio station the whole time, the radio can sometimes be a source of bickering. Some solutions include: Whomever is driving picks the playlist, make a mix tape on your mp3 player to listen to once you’re out of range for this radio station, or download our new RadioPup Mobile App from the Android Market or iTunes store and take us with you wherever you go. The app, by the way is free.
It's a good idea to make a budget and stick to it. Road trips are a blast, but they can also be expensive if you don’t have a financial plan in place. Create a budget and designate one person to keep an eye on it. Besides gas, food and lodging, make sure you think of other things, too, like mechanical problems, flat tires, speeding tickets, parking tickets, parking fees, or, God forbid an accident or medical emergency.
It's also a good idea to talk about the food options. I’m trying to stick to a more healthy eating patternthese days, but Glen is lucky because he can eat just about anything he pleases. There was a time when I could hit up the drive through three times a day, but not anymore, so if you’re like me and trying to stay healthy, do some research beforehand and try to eat at places that offer more healthy alternatives. Also, pack a cooler with nutritious snacks and bottled water so you’re not tempted to grab chips and a sugary soda whenever you stop for gas.