Any road-trip, especially a family one, is an event that you will be looking forward to months in advance. The excitement of being on the road, experiencing new places, and meeting people from all over the country/continent is a real reason to be excited about. However, staying away from home for a long time requires you to be fully prepared. There are several things that you have to take care of before setting off on the trip and a few more while you’re on the road.

Pack light to make room for souvenirs

A road trip differs from other kinds of journeys in the sense that you need not pack everything imaginable. Yes, you are going to need many things on the road but you can purchase them in stores along the way. Your luggage should be as light as possible so you would have room for any the memorabilia that you will buy or receive on the road. The souvenirs you buy on a road trip are always more than a mug or a postcard. That is why you need to have enough room in the trunk for souvenirs of all sizes.

Make new friends

The whole point of a road trip is venturing out into the world and meeting new people. The journey itself is the destination, so don’t shy away from a conversation. Don’t be cold and reserved as this stance will ruin the whole experience for you. You can engage in a conversation with the hostel staff, enquiring about local pubs or you can search online for events happening in the play where you are staying.

Plan ahead but don’t research

In order for the trip to be an adventure, you mustn’t do extensive research on places that you are going to visit. On the other side, you need to be ready for everything  and you have to have a plan, like driving eight hours a day and not a minute more. The planning should, therefore, be balanced, just enough not to get lost or endanger your life, but shallow enough for you to have fun and learn new things. Knowing the route is one thing but reading about all the road sights will spoil the whole trip.

Tend to the car

An essential “tool” required to complete a road trip is your passenger car. Before you start the journey, take it to the mechanics to check if it’s fully operational. If the car breaks down far away from home the cost of shipping it back will be enormous. And image the final tow truck price if you are left stranded in a foreign land! That is why every single detail on the car should be in working order. This goes for cleanliness as well, so be sure to scrub it thoroughly in a car wash, such as Schmicko car wash that offers a full wash package.

Get used to the gas station

Even if you stay at hotels and hostels, the facility you are likely to visit the most is the gas station. They act as a secondary home to drivers and for a good reason. Gas, the toilet, and a restaurant are the things that you are going to need the most while on the road. They are going to become your mandatory pit stop so it would be wise to get a fuel card so you would benefit from free fuel coupons. Explore which company has the most gas stations in the region you are going to travel to and stop only at their stations. 

Create a playlist

Since you are going to spend hours enclosed in the car, you have to make the time pass faster. Board games and the phone cannot be used all the time, so music will probably be your best friend. This is especially true in the case of the driver who cannot multitask while focusing on the road ahead. Unless you want to depend on the radio that might play funny and incomprehensible foreign music, burn a CD with a custom playlist. You can populate the playlist together with the whole family so each member can listen to their favorite songs. If you are not sure exactly which songs to burn, then search the internet for popular road trip music.

Finally, the most important thing to remember is to have fun while road-tripping. All the planning and preparations are there to achieve a single goal: to enjoy yourself!