You finally have some free time to hang out with your friends like the good ol’ days after working day-in and day-out these past few weeks. Spontaneous road trips are one of the best ways to bond with your friends and make memorable adventures together.
But spontaneity isn’t the only way to have fun. Sometimes, roughly planning a trip can make the experience better because you aren’t working from scratch. Find out how you can prepare for the ultimate road trip with these four tips:
Pick a Destination and Map Your Route
The best road trips revolve around the journey, not the destination. But setting an end goal is important because it limits your options and possibilities. Having too many options to choose from can make your trip messy and unmemorable because you spend your time planning instead of doing.
Picking a destination can narrow down your choices, and it can certainly make crafting a route easier. By mapping out your route, you can identify which establishments or landmarks you can visit and which gas stations you can stop at for restroom breaks as well as refueling.
This first step in planning the perfect road trip can also allow you to familiarize yourself with the terrain, especially if you’ve never been to that city or place before. It will lessen the possibility of being lost in the woods or going around and around because you don’t have a map for reference.
Groom Your Car for the Trip
You can’t have an amazing road trip without a reliable car you can use to travel in. And you also won’t have a great time if your car keeps acting up, breaking down, or overheating in the middle of the road. So before your trip, make sure to bring your car in for maintenance and inspection.
Find a credible auto shop that can ensure the safety and condition of your car. If possible, choose one with an alignment vehicle lift in-store, so they can check your engine, steering, and suspension along with your wheels. This way, you can rest assured that you won’t have car troubles because of maintenance issues.
While you’re at it, get your air conditioning system checked out too. Breathing in the fresh air from the open roads is all fun and games until you get stuck in traffic. When that happens, all you will be able to breathe in is pollution and fumes.
Clear Your Schedules for Good Measure
You won’t fully immerse yourself in the trip if responsibilities are waiting for you back home. These thoughts can weigh you down or guilt you for taking a trip in the midst of work, and you will have difficulty enjoying your time away.
To avoid this from happening, you should settle your affairs first to ensure that you aren’t leaving emergent matters hanging. Granted, road trips usually take most of your weekend. So if you can’t completely clear your schedule, then you can at least postpone the matters until the weekdays roll in again.
Make sure that your companions for the trip will do the same. Otherwise, an issue that bothers one person can affect the whole group and leave you miserable. It’s just the responsible thing to do as an adult and a professional.
Create an Itinerary, but Leave Room for Spontaneity
Itineraries are guides, not schedules that you have to follow to the dot or else you won’t have fun. You can make a rough itinerary for you and your friends so that you can save time as well as gas. Seeing as you already have a route mapped out, it will be easier to drop by the establishments on the way.
To make an itinerary, you and your friends can list down the places you want to visit, the restaurants or pubs you want to try, or the landmarks you want to see. From there, you can create a rough idea of how the trip will go instead of just winging it throughout.
But as mentioned, you don’t have to stick to the plan all the time. Some of the best moments in life are unplanned, so you should leave room for spontaneity and recklessness. Maybe you drove by a cliff that is overlooking the city or an arcade reminiscent of your childhood. Your itinerary is there as a guide, but it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying yourselves.
It’s not true that the best things in life are unplanned. These events might not be planned down to the last detail, but some planning is still involved to make it possible. But even the best plans can’t take unforeseeable circumstances into account, which makes it all the more exciting.