During peak travel seasons, embarking on a road trip is one of the easiest ways to get to your destination. All you need is a full tank, the open road and these smart tips, courtesy of the editors at Rand McNally, publisher of the Road Atlas series.
1. Plan your trip.
There often are many sources for planning, but use those with which you feel most comfortable. Talk with friends and family for recommendations.
2. Load the car strategically.
Start with the least essential items, followed by gear you'll need to access, including grab-and-go overnight bags. Keep absolute essentials nearby, especially medications.
3. Improve fuel economy.
Roll down the windows when traveling at lower speeds, and use the air conditioning for highway driving. Hot weather can actually increase fuel economy since your engine warms up to an efficient temperature faster. Warm air also tends to cause less aerodynamic drag than cold air.
4. Be road ready.
Pack a first-aid kit, plenty of tissues, moist wipes and a travel size spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol. You can use the alcohol to sanitize hands and clean surfaces.
5. Bring a cooler.
It's smart – and wise for your budget – to bring a small cooler filled with drinks, fruit and other healthy treats to stay well hydrated and well nourished on the road.
6. Pack for entertainment.
The license plate game can only go so far until the inevitable delay looking for the elusive Hawaii plate. Bring car games, print and audio books, and tablets loaded with digital books, games, and movies.
7. Create a customized playlist.
Have fun selecting the perfect soundtrack to your road trip. If you don't have time to make your own, find a compiled playlist at www.NPR.org.
8. Pack a separate container to hold recyclables.
If your campground doesn't offer recycling, use an app to help locate recycling centers.
9. Stay connected.
Bring a wireless router for mobile Internet access.
10. Take time to try new things
. Whether it's pulling over for a scenic overlook or stopping for lunch in a local diner, make time to explore beyond the official itinerary.
Source: Rand McNally
Published with permission from RISMedia.