Have you just made a decision to live a little by taking a road trip? Congratulations! If it is your first time, you need to have a battle plan. While this will not protect you from all eventualities, it will ensure that you reduce the chances of anything going wrong.
Decide On Whom You Are Going With
Before you do anything else, you have to come to a decision on whether you are going to take someone along with you. You will need a heavy dose of courage if you intend on doing your first trip alone. It can be done though, never fear. You can also decide to go with someone else.
Whomever you intend to travel with has a very different traveling style to yours. You may want to experience each destination through its food. Your traveling companion just wants to take pictures of the scenery. Alternatively, he or she may want to chat with everyone you meet at each stopping point.
Going with someone else can be quite tricky. You will be on the road, traveling in a confined space for hours at a time. Are you sure that you want to take someone who may drive you crazy with you?
Prepare Your Itinerary and Schedule
It has often been said that if you do not know where you are going, then any road will take you there. Do you have any idea of where you want to go on your road trip?
It helps to know the general direction, as well as your final destination. You should also decide on how much time you want to take for your road trip, from start to finish.
Your itinerary will enable you to visit all the places of interest to you even when you are being very flexible. Once you overstay at one point, then you will be able to determine where to make sacrifices in your schedule. That way, you will still get to your final destination in time.
Decide On Your Mode of Transport
A road trip can be done using not just a car, a bus, a caravan, a motorcycle, and even a bicycle. Based on your preferences, as well as your traveling needs, you should be able to decide on the best mode of transport for your needs.
A mechanic should check your selected mode of transport carefully. You want to make sure that any mechanical faults have been dealt with before you get on the road. You do not want your vehicle to break down halfway, do you?
Your vehicle should be insured fully. This will enable you to get access to accident recovery services without denting your travel budget.
Carry a Travel Kit for Emergencies
You must have GPS installed in your vehicle. However, that system may fail in some areas. You must therefore ensure that you pack an emergency kit that will enable you get by until help arrive.
Some of the things that you should pack include mechanical torches, an extra supply of water, an extra supply of oil, matchboxes or a gas lighter, ropes, several extra tires, a pocketknife, long-lasting snacks, sleeping bag, extra blankets, first aid kit, an extra phone, a compass and maps. While you may not need all these things, it never hurts to be prepared. If you get lost or stranded, you will be able to survive on your own.
Some people will spend millions on a road trip, while others can get by with a few hundred dollars. You know what you need and how much it may cost to meet those needs. That is why a budget is such a good tool.
When you are a first time road tripper, you want to make sure that you budget realistically. It is better for you to err on the side of caution and over budget to avoid running out of money when you need it.
When budgeting, consider each stage of your road trip. If you overspend during one stage of the road trip, then you should be prepared to sacrifice some creature comforts until you get back on track. Always designate some money for emergencies. With road trips, such eventualities have to be taken into consideration. Doing so will ensure that you do not have to sing or dance for your next meal!