If you’re looking to travel for the holidays but you want to avoid the airport, you’re not alone. Many Americans prefer to travel via their cars to avoid ever having to set foot in a crowded airport.
However, road trips come with their own host of issues you need to be mindful of. Whether you’re just traveling for a few hours or taking a cross-country road trip to see family, these handy road tips will help you make the most of your next long-haul drive.
Before you ever hit the road, make sure your car is in tip-top shape. This includes checking your tires and engine to make sure everything is in good condition. Top off your fluids, make sure your tire pressure is in the acceptable range and keep a spare tire and a tire jack in your vehicle.
Likewise, bring a roadside safety kit. This should include things like jumper cables, a traffic safety cone, a flashlight, a screwdriver, and some non-perishable foods. You’ll also want a road map of the US and a charging bank and charging cable for your cell phone.
You can’t always rely on your phone’s GPS. Sometimes your phone will die, or you’ll just lose signal altogether. In these cases, it’s critical that you know where you’re going without looking at your phone. Familiarize yourself with the turns and roads you’ll be taking before you hit the road.
Keep a road map in the car with you. In a pinch, you can consult this map to help you navigate to your destination even if your phone stops working. Consider writing down the directions in a notebook so you can consult them even if your phone loses power.
Finally, you want to make sure you don’t get bored on a long trip. It’s important to prepare some form of entertainment to keep your mind engaged while you’re covering a long distance. Some ideal forms of entertainment for a road trip are podcasts or music albums.
Audio-based entertainment is ideal because it can help you stay engaged without needing to look away from the road. Since your audio perception doesn’t use the same parts of your brain as driving the car, listening to music or a talk radio segment can keep your mind active and help you fight the dreaded highway hypnosis pattern that can make long-haul drivers sleepy.