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Road trips are a lot of fun. Whether you’re going by yourself with a group, you get to hit the open road and do some exploring. However, before you go, there are a few things you can do to ensure you make the most of your trip. Here are some tips you can use while preparing for your road trip, so that when the time comes, you’re able to enjoy yourself as much as possible.

Choose the Right Transportation

First, in order to go on a road trip, you need some kind of transportation. This could be a motorcycle, a car, or even an RV. Before you go, you should think about what type of transportation would work best for you. If you have a large group going, you likely won’t want to cram into a tiny sedan. You should also consider the condition of whichever vehicle you go with. You don’t want to get on the highway, drive for only an hour, and then have your car break down due to age. Make sure you do some maintenance on whatever vehicle you’re going with – such as changing the fluids and replacing old tires – before you go.

Protect Yourself

Next, you should think about how you’ll protect yourself on the road. There are several things you’ll want to consider for this. For example, if you’re going to be doing a lot of traveling far from home, you may want to get some travelers insurance on top of your car insurance. Or if you’re traveling by RV, maybe an extended warranty for RV is right for you.

Another thing to think about is how you’ll protect yourself. Before you go, you should research your destinations and make sure there are no bad areas. You don’t want to get lost in an unsafe area and have something happen to you or your car. If you’re worried about this, and especially if you’re travelling alone, it’s not a bad idea to learn some basic self defense moves, and maybe even carry around some mace. At the very least, someone should always know where you are, so check in with someone back home from time to time.

Plan Your Route

While there’s certainly something to be said for hitting the open road with no destination in mind, your road trip will go a lot smoother if you do some planning in regards to the route. What’s the best way to get somewhere? What sort of traffic can you expect? Where are some good places to stop for the night? You can always deviate from your plan if you’d like, but knowing some things in advance can take away some of the pain points that typically accompany a long drive.

Get Some Good Apps

Next, smartphone apps are one of the best things to happen to roadtrippers. There are so many apps out there that can make your road trip more enjoyable. For instance, an app like Google Maps or Waze can help you get there faster and avoid traffic delays. Or you can get a music app like Spotify or Pandora so you can listen to your favorite music. There are even apps that can help you find the cheapest gas stations nearby. Install some of these apps before you go and play around with them to see which ones you like best.

Make a Playlist

Speaking of music apps, no road trip is complete without something good to listen to. These days, you have a ton of options. To start, you could create a killer playlist from your favorite music and load it up to one of your apps.

If you don’t want music, you could download some books on tape. The hours will fly by if you’re engaged with an interesting story. Your local library likely has some books on tape you can borrow/download, or you can use a site like Audible.

Finally, podcasts are great for road trips. From sports podcasts, to comedy podcasts, to news podcasts and more, there are plenty of options out there. Find something you’re interested in, and there’s sure to be a podcast about it. Then just download a few episodes before you go, and you’re set for hours of entertainment.

Don’t Rush Through It

Finally, while you may have a great destination waiting for you, don’t rush through the driving part. Sometimes the journey is just as much fun as the destination, so you should soak up every second. Feel free to pull over from time to time just to take pictures. Take some random detours and explore. Your destination will be there waiting for you when you’re done, so enjoy the trip while you’re on it.

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