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Ten Things to Remember When Preparing for a Road Trip
Tips To Survive Your Road Trip Safely
Yes, its that time of year again, and even with high gas prices and border restrictions, many North Americans are heading out for road trips through the continent. My destination is through parts of Southern USA. This is an area rich in history and cultural diversity. The region's unique cultural and historic heritage, including Native Americans; early European settlements of Spanish, English and French heritage; importation of hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans. (Wikipedia)
The states of my interests are Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, Maryland, Pennsylavania and New York. The growth of a large proportion of African Americans in the population, was due to reliance on slave labour, and legacy of the confederacy after the American Civil War. The South developed its own customs, literature, musical styles, and varied cuisines. (Wikipedia)
To prepare for a road trip one must consider many things ahead of time and plan for the unforeseen events. it is for that reason that I have researched what the experts have to say.
1.Be Prepared: Plan your Route
You can utilize online tools such as MapQuest, Google maps to plan your route. You can also go to CAA or AAA to plan your trip. Many of us have GPS in our cars or have purchased portable ones, these are great tools to help to navigate your trip through North America. Be sure that you have updated maps of USA and Canada on your GPS. It is also important to carry a hard copy of mapQuest or CAA maps just in case the GPS fail. You can decide ahead of time where you will spend each night. You can reserve hotel accommodations online. Be sure to find out what is the cancellation policy for each hotel.
2. Vehicle Maintenanace
Be sure to get your car serviced. You should check and change oil and filter, rotate tires, top up liquids, check breaks, check all lights and flashers on your car. If you are using a rental car, then be sure to verify that all the checks mentioned were done. Also, you should find out ahead of time what will happen if your rental car has a mechanical problem; can you drop it off in the USA and get another? Be sure all documentations for the car, whether rental or private are with you. Don't forget insurance. Don't forget your emergency kit for your car.
3. Travel and Medical Insurance
Obtain travel and medical insurance before you go on your roadtrip. You should be prepared for any kind of emergency, whether medical or otherwise. CAA/AAA offers very competitive rates as well as discount on some hotel rates.
4. Necessities to Past the time in Your Vehicle
Since you'll be spending most of your time in your vehicle, it is paramount that it is comfortable and has as much necessities as possible to past the time. If you are travelling with children, it is even more important to plan ahead. You may want to take your favourite music - DVD/iPod; audio books; video games; movies; snacks and drinks. You can bring along a cooler with water, snacks and drinks. Also you will require hand wipes and paper towels to clean up misses.
5. Truck Stops, Use Them
You should use the truck stops for periodical breaks from driving. They are safe because they have 24 hours security.(http://www.roadtripamerica.com/index.htm) They usually have fairly good food choices and restrooms that are fairly clean.
6.Research cities that you will stop along the way:
You should do your research about each city that you will stop over each night. Find out the historical significance of each city; their places of interests; cost of living; and crime rate. It is a good idea to stay in a hotel in or close to the downtown core of a city. You will be closer to major places of interest, restaurants and easy access to the highway as you time is the essence as you continue your trip.
7.Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Mark Sedenquist of roadtripamerica, suggests getting a room on the second floor of a hotel so you can see the parking lot where your vehicle is parked. You should keep valuable out of plain sight. Mark also suggests that you take articles in plain view out of your car overnight. I suspect that this will deter a break in.
8. Get to Know the Locals
The locals know their cities well enough to tell you how to find places of interest, good local restaurants, places in the city that are safer than others and quick route back to the highway.
9. Keep a Journal
You may take great pictures, but a journal helps you to keep track of all the important sights. You will also have a quick reference when you return home and write your blog.
10. Have Fun
Finally, just relax and have fun. Enjoy your trip and the people that you meet along the way. No amount of planning can control everything that will happen on your trip, so just plan ahead and then go with the flow.
See also: Canda Upclose By Road Trip