There’s something magical about the experience of a road trip. Gathering your friends and packing up the car can lead to some amazing adventures in unexpected places. The difference between an ordinary vacation and a road trip is the freeing lack of structure that opens you up to far more possibilities. You have the chance to see parts of the country that aren’t always advertised to tourists as well as places you’ve always wanted to go but never had the chance to visit. Road trips are especially good for seeing vastly different areas within short spaces of time, meaning you’ll rarely feel bored. However, there are a few risks that come with choosing a road trip over a normal vacation. Here are some of the things you should consider in order to stay safe while having fun.
Before you head out on your road trip adventures, it’s important to have at least some preparation to keep you safe. The obvious necessities include a first aid kit, plenty of drinking water and some food for if you find yourself between destinations. Part of the fun of road trips is the potential for getting lost and experiencing the world as it unfolds around you, but there’s a huge difference between straying from the beaten track and becoming irrevocably lost. Do a bit of research before you go so that you know roughly where you want to stop along the way. Make sure each place is safe enough for you and your fellow passengers since different parts of the country can hold unexpected dangers for non-locals such as unfamiliar terrain and criminal activity. It’s especially vital that you pack for the weather you expect to encounter. If your trip lasts for a long time you may find yourself experiencing both extremes of hot and cold, so be ready with blankets, fans, jumpers and good air-conditioning. Nothing ruins the fun like sweating or shivering all the time.
The romantic notion of a road trip with friends involves partying and drinking. While this is understandably a fun part of the journey, you can quickly ruin it by either driving while drunk or if you come across an unsafe driver who is under the influence. Alcohol interferes with people’s judgment and can seriously impair their reaction times and decision-making abilities. If you find yourself involved in drunk driving complications, you’ll need the help of USAttorneys. Of course, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so if you’ve had something to drink you should wait until the next day before you drive again, or allocate a designated driver who will stay sober.
Eating right is fundamental to having a good time on your road trip. Your mood is more likely to drop when you’re hungry so make sure you and your passengers stay well fed and happy. When stopping along the way, be cautious about where you choose to eat because restaurants in places with a low population can neglect health and safety regulations. Look up good places to eat and, if all else fails, take recommendations from the locals for the best food in the area. Keep a cooler in the trunk with essentials like water and food that takes longer to perish, but try to keep these for emergencies. If you’re a bit of a foodie, maybe plan your whole road trip around places with good food. Look up popular restaurants along the way and discover new favorites. Everyone loves finding a hidden gem and sharing this with friends can be a long-lasting memory for years to come. Just make sure not to get sick and change the cheerful tone of the trip.
Four: Local Laws
Depending on where you’re traveling, you might be crossing between different jurisdictions and be under the rule of different laws. Read up on where you’ll be going and make sure to behave according to the local laws. These can be unusual but, if broken, might ruin the rest of your trip. Make sure your vehicle is up to road standard and that you always have your driving license ready should you be pulled over.
Traveling for extended periods of time can be a strain on your body. Even when you’re just sitting, your muscles are under pressure due to micro-movements and even just your body weight. A common issue for people in offices or who otherwise lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle is the development of deep vein thrombosis which can have potentially fatal results. To avoid this happening to you while sitting in a car for too long, take regular breaks for walking around and stretching your legs. It might not seem that important, but when you’ve been spending hours at the wheel, your body can become lethargic and lose valuable reaction speed.
If your road trip is intended to last longer than a day, you’ll likely need somewhere to sleep as you go. Depending on the size of your vehicle and on how many people you have with you, it can be possible to sleep in the car at night between destinations. However, this can get uncomfortable and hurt your spine, so it is best to find proper beds for when you want to rest. Research hotels that are near your planned route or go out of your way to find them, whichever takes your fancy. Be wary of staying at a stranger’s house as this can turn into a real nightmare. Of course, if a friend in the area has room for you to stay, it is better to take them up on their offer than squash yourself into your car! Sleep is vital when taking long road trips. If your driver is drowsy, they can risk the lives of not only your passengers but also other people on or near the road.
If you can, choose a good vehicle for your trip that will give you plenty room to enjoy yourself. Try not to cram too many people into a small space and either trim your guest list or hire another car and make a small convoy. Make sure your car can handle the long journey without breaking down along the way and leaving you stranded.