With good weather and fewer lockdown restrictions for the last half of 2021, millions of people are planning family road trips. If you have a car-cation on the agenda for summer or fall, a little planning can make any excursion a big success. When folks run into travel snafus, the most common problems are related to expenses, being too far from home when an emergency comes up, and more.
Here are five of the most effective ways to plan for a short road trip with or without children.
Make Safety the Priority
Whether you are going solo, with another adult, or with youngsters in tow, safety should be the priority. That means more than packing a few distress flares in the trunk and checking the spare for leaks. People often avoid investing in their road safety, but for around $100, most mechanics will be happy to give your vehicle the once-over.
They’ll check all fluid levels, tire health, brakes (extremely important before a trip of any length), fuel lines, the electrical system, and a few other key operational aspects. The best part is that the whole inspection shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes.
Cover the Costs
Even a three-day weekend outing in the family car can stress out the budget. For total peace of mind while traveling, make certain to cover all trip costs before you leave. Many working moms and dads take personal loans from private lenders to pay for travel, get competitive rates, and deal with the entire financing situation ahead of time.
Use the 100-Mile Radius Rule
Draw a circle around your home on a map, using a radius of 100 miles. Then, within that circle, choose two or three short-term vacation destinations. Depending where you live, the 100-mile rule can lead you to view your local region in a new light.
Many people discover small towns and unusual attractions when they stay within the circle they’ve drawn. It’s an exercise in creativity and imagination that can turn a routine weekend into an exciting adventure.
Plan the Stops
No matter how many there are on the journey, take time to plan a minimum number of known stops both on the way there and on the way home. It’s okay to add more stops, but make sure to use the planned ones as a way to improve your family road trip and stretch and give your mind a break, if nothing else. These scheduled intermissions are a perfect time to change drivers, grab a snack, walk around, or buy fuel.
Decide About Devices
Modern travel entails devices, all sorts of them. In addition to the wall of technology included in new cars and trucks, people bring along phones, laptops (to do a little work during the trip), tablets, game consoles, smart watches, fitness bands, and more.
If your goal is to get away from the daily grind, consider limiting the number of connected devices passengers bring along. Some adults like the idea of disconnecting for a few days, even if that means bringing a charged-up phone for emergency purposes.