Warmer days and clearer skies are on their way, which means it’s almost road trip season. Whether your spring break trip is an epic adventure or a fun-filled day trip, these tips can help you plan the ideal driving getaway.
Day trips are perfect for novice road trippers or those short on time. Since spring break usually only lasts a week, here are a few smart planning ideas on how to make the most of your next open-road adventure.
Prioritize. Decide what you really want out of your day trip and keep your budget on track. If sightseeing is more important than dining out, pack a lunch and spend your money on roadside attractions and shopping instead.
Make a schedule. Day trips usually last a few hours, so make them count! Create a schedule of what you want to do and see, but allow yourself some flexibility to improvise and explore.
Maximize road time. Don’t spend your day cruising the highway, or worse, stuck in traffic. Plan your route ahead of time to avoid rush hour and make time for some scenic drives and idyllic backroads. Check the traffic before you head out in case an accident or construction has you altering your route at the last minute.
Pack essentials. Road trips with kids can sometimes be a challenge, but if you plan for entertainment on the road, the journey becomes part of the fun. Remember to pack favorite snacks and download their favorite movies or music using your home Wi-Fi before heading out.
For some, spring break means an extended road trip. Before you take off on your journey, consider these tips:
Choose a destination… Or make it all about the journey. From national parks to beachy locales, there are so many places to go during spring break; an epic adventure road trip may be the way to maximize your limited time. Give yourself the freedom to explore, and don’t be afraid to veer from your schedule or try new things. Who knows, you might find some unexpected joy by venturing off the beaten path.
Inspect your vehicle. Making sure your vehicle is in its best condition is especially important when you’re planning to travel a significant distance. Schedule an appointment at your dealership to make sure everything from the brakes to the battery are in working order.
Expect the best; prepare for the worst. When you’re hundreds of miles from home, a little preparedness goes a long way. Make sure you have jumper cables, tire sealant, an inflated spare tire, a jack and emergency supplies.
Though you may have spring and sunshine on the brain, you may want to see if your route might require special equipment, such as snow tires or chains, prior to setting off on your adventure.
Know your pit stops. No matter how comfortable your vehicle is, you’ll want to get out every now and then. Especially if you’re traveling with kids or pets, planned stops along the way help break up the journey. Each state’s Department of Transportation website includes information about rest stops, so you can identify reliable stopping points. Or, go big and plan an extended stop at a state or national park.
If you’re driving in an electric vehicle, you can map out charging stations ahead of time. Take advantage of public charging stations to recharge yourself with a meal, or even a movie, while your vehicle charges.
By Scooter Hendon, GM Financial
Scooter Hendon might work indoors, but his heart is in the outdoors. Whether he's with his family or flying solo, he loves a good camping, backpacking or hiking adventure. When Scooter’s not hitting the road in his Chevy Silverado to a state or national park, he’s saving up for his next trip.