It probably feels weird to be talking about summer road trips in the middle of winter. Believe it or not, now is the perfect time to start planning. The more time you have to plan, the less likely you are to be caught unaware if something goes wrong while you’re on the road. Here are the things you can do right now to make sure that your next summer road trip goes perfectly.
Maps Maps Maps
Yes, part of the fun of a road trip is not knowing exactly where you’re heading and taking the back roads to get there, exploring the small towns and sites you find along the way. That said, it’s still a good idea to have at least a vague idea of where you’re headed and how you’ll get there. For example, some parts of the country have summer storm seasons that can cause landslides, roads to wash out, etc. The last thing you want is to get stuck for days somewhere because the only roads in or out aren’t passable, right?
Another reason to plan ahead (at least a little bit) is to make sure you know where amenities like rest areas and gas stations are located. Nobody wants to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere!
When was the last time you took your car in for a check-up? How long has it been since your last oil change? The winter and spring months are a great time to give your car a thorough exam and to make needed upgrades, repairs, and to do routine maintenance. If you know your way around cars you can take this time to make sure your car is in exactly the shape you want it to be and, if you know where to shop for Ford or Nissan performance parts (or parts for whatever your car’s make and model may be), you could soup up your car for far less than you’d pay someone else to do the work.
Special Note: Pay particular attention to your car’s tires. If your tires are older, make sure you replace them before you head out on the road. Yes, tires can be expensive, but if you start saving now you should be able to buy a good set before it’s time for your trip to start.
Speaking of saving up for tires, you should also be setting money aside in a “road trip” fund. This fund will help you pay for hotels or space in campgrounds, food, souvenirs, entrance fees at attractions and parks, gas, etc.
Take a small percentage of every paycheck you get between now and when you’re ready to go and set it aside in its own savings account. Look for one with a high interest rate so that your money can make money while you wait for the weather to clear up.
While you’re working on saving, you should be working on finding deals. Many hotels will offer discounted rates for travelers who are able to reserve their rooms a few months before their stays. You can also take this time to read blogs and travel sites to look for tips and tricks for saving money at the destinations you hope to visit.
Just because the weather isn’t perfect for traveling right now doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for your next big adventure. The more time you have to plan, the less likely you will be to get caught by surprise once you’re on the road. By taking your time to go over your car, to save money, and to look for deals, the better! Use the tips we’ve outlined here to help you get started with your plans!