Since airline travel has been a go-to form of transportation for millions of people, it might seem like old school American road trips are a thing of the past. However, all it takes is some preparation and a spirit of adventure, and you can be out on the open road experiencing a custom vacation up close and personal. Take charge of your next adventure with these tips for taking a road trip regionally, nationally, or even internationally. You will experience far more tourist destinations, restaurants, and nature by driving than flying. Plus, you can do it all from the comfort of your own vehicle rather than cramped on an airbus with a middle seat!

Your first step: get excited! Consider the fact that you will be getting away for a once in a lifetime adventure. Then, decide generally where you would like to go. Is there a unique tourist destination within a few hours’ drive of your home? Is there a region of the country you have only ever experienced on travel TV shows? How about that region famous for its BBQ a few states over? Once you have decided if you will be traveling for a weekend trip or going on a more extensive vacation, your next step will be figuring out logistics. Map out your route and places you will stop along the way and make all the appropriate bookings ahead of time.

Make sure to clean and maintain your road trip vehicle before you leave for your adventure. Your car is sure to collect some additional dirt and/or litter after you have been on the road for a couple of days, so it will be best to at least start with a clean vehicle and then clear out any trash or clutter as you go. Be sure your car has been serviced and get an oil change if it is due. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and you have all the necessary equipment to change a flat tire should you need to. Have your mechanic check all the possible areas of your car that could go wrong on a road trip in the days before you leave. Check out this article for more information on taking care of your car during a road trip.

No road trip is complete without your favorite music. However, you will want to prepare for this ahead of time by downloading your favorite playlists to your phone. Regional radio stations are no longer as reliable for listening to music as they once were, and you may not have the budget or internet service to stream your tunes on the road. Podcasts and audiobooks are also a great pastime on the road, and you might learn a thing or two! Also, consider downloading some TV shows or movies ahead of time to watch during downtime.

Divide tasks appropriately among your road trip companions. Different people are better at different things, so make sure your navigator, meal planner, and adventure scout know what they are doing! When your road trip duties are assigned adequately, your trip will run smoothly, and your travel partners will be happy and content. Be sure to check out this guide for packing for a road trip as well to prepare yourself and your crew for a successful and enjoyable vacation!

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