Tips For Preparation In Houston For A Cross-Country Trips
There is nothing like packing your essentials, jumping behind the wheel of your car, and hitting the open road for weeks of adventure. Now that you have your driver’s license, it’s a great time to begin exploring the open roads. But, because you haven’t yet placed many miles under your belt, you may want to gather some expert advice and avoid the rookie’s learning curve. This begins with considering your adventure as a major responsibility.
Without sharp wits, a clear head, and good preparation, your adventure could run afoul of all sorts of catastrophe. Following are some important pointers on making your forays on the open road fun and exciting time you will never forget.
1. Plan Everything!
Making clear plans is the best way to make sure your adventures are fun and exciting as opposed to short and full of surprises. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a shorter spontaneous trip, but these are usually best after you have already mastered some roads and know what to expect. The first thing is to know where you are going and how you will get there, which is pretty easy thanks to GPS apps on your phone.
But, you will increase your adventure quality if you chuck the GPS aside –– it is after all fraught with errors–– and pull out an actual map book plotting roads and speaking with locals for directions. This is road-tripping old school.
Weather is another factor you will need to consider. If you will be planning a trip into the snowy mountain passes of a ski resort, it will be imperative to plan ahead so you aren’t snowed in halfway there.
First-time travelers may find driving in adverse weather conditions much more difficult than they originally anticipated. As a matter of fact, if you haven’t gained too much experience you should plan a trip when you are assured of good weather all the way. If you see the storm clouds gathering, there is no shame in turning your wagon around and heading to a safe haven until it blows past.
2. Visit The Mechanic
Even after you have purchased new tires and gotten the oil changed, your vehicle is not road trip worthy until you have had it inspected by a trusted mechanic. There will still be a world of situations that even the best mechanic can’t possibly predict, but a proper inspection and servicing will remove the risk of a few major situations that could derail your travel plans. It will be able to get your car serviced on the way, but making sure the car is in good condition can reduce the higher costs you could face down the road –– plus more resources for fun.
3. Know Your Co-Travelers
You could be traveling with people you have known all your life, but it is important that you can also trust them all the way. After all, you don’t want to find out that any of them are carrying anything illegal in the event that you get pulled over.
Furthermore, if any of your friends will be sharing their driving responsibilities, it will be a good idea to double-check their insurance is in order and will cover any damage in case of an accident. There will be nothing as straining on the fun as this kind of problem –– even the closest friendships can be tested.
4. Have An Emergency Kit
This should be part of your vehicle paraphernalia for everyday driving. But, if you will be heading out into the unknown, you will absolutely need a handy emergency kit to handle the many eventualities you will see on the road. For example, a jack and a spare tire will ensure you don’t get stranded for too long on the side of the road.
A can of fix-a-flat is also a good thing to keep on hand for those emergency situations. A life hammer will allow you to smash through your car window in the event that you become trapped in your vehicle when it is underwater.
Even if you don’t know how to use jumper cables or car tools, having them on hand means you may come across someone who does. Then be sure to have blankets for cold weather, extra food, and water, road flares, matches, bear pepper spray, and anything else you could presumably need — it’s not being paranoid, it’s being prepared.
5. Be Realistic About The Distance
If you are on your first-weekend trip, leaving on Friday and returning on Sunday, you should not place too much pressure on your planned distances as this will take some fun from the trip. Allow yourself plenty of time to stop and stretch and if possible team up with a travel buddy who can take over the driving at some point.
6. The Trip Should Start The Day Before
The trip actually begins the day before you head off to your first checkpoint. You will need to make sure the car is already packed and has room for your luggage as well as the luggage of any of your fellow travelers. Make sure you pack realistically and that you have enough space to travel comfortably. Remember you may you feel the need to pull over, stretch out and take a quick nap along the way.
Make sure everyone has eaten well and gets a good rest. It is not a good call to kick off the trip with a round of celebratory drinks as this can make everyone especially groggy in the morning when they all need to be sharp. Even if you aren’t actually hungover you could be more tired and forgetful than usual.
Anything that could impair your judgment or hinder your capacity to drive well should be avoided the day before.
Finally, plan to have fun. Make sure you have good music but also make sure that it is not especially loud or distracting to the driver. Finally, don’t allow your passengers to push you into doing things that you may regret later.