They always say that the journey is more important than the destination. Whether in life or on road trips, this has always been true. Can you imagine being on a classic road trip when your car suddenly gives up on you? What could be the worst kind of situation to find yourself in?
But before you pack your bags and go on this great adventure, you have to make sure you have all you need to go on a road trip. Plenty of things can go wrong on the road. It’s better to be extra careful than finding yourself booking a flight back home suddenly and having to call a heavy-haul trucking company to transport your car to where it came from.
Check Your Car
First thing’s first. If you are going to go on a road trip, you have to make sure your car can handle the long drive. It’s one thing for it to stall when you’re 10 minutes away from the office. It’s another thing to get stuck in the middle of the desert with the next town located 30 miles from you. Take it to the mechanic and have it inspected.
You should also have a first-aid kit for your car. An extra tire is fine and all, but you should also have a complete toolbox. This will come in handy for some basic car repair needs along the way. Car repairs are the simplest things in the world when you’re in the city, but it’s headache-inducing to look for a car mechanic along Route 66.
And what happens if your car isn’t ready? Well, that’s what car rental services are for. Depending on the car you want to take, you can get one for $30 and up to $60 a day. It might actually be safer and cheaper to take a rental car on a road trip.
You should also come prepared with car insurance. Check with your agent if the policy covers a road trip (some insurance companies don’t cover out-of-state accidents). Bring your documents with you for a faster transaction if you need to contact your insurance provider.
Get Your Gear Ready
How’s that camera of yours? When did you last use it? Are you sure it’s working and have no blurry lines and bubbles? Can it transfer files easily? You have to make sure your gear is ready. Don’t waste time on the road trying to make your camera work because you forgot to check it beforehand. Snap some photos with it. Transfer the photos to your laptop and check if they have the same quality.
Next, check the batteries. Can they still last for days or does it die after a couple of hours? Take spare batteries with you and have them fully charged. Get a fast charger, too, so you can charge it in your motel room at night. Yes, a car adapter is nice, too. You can use your car’s USB or cigarette port to charge devices.
Make a List
On the road, you can be so enamored by what you see that you’ll forget to take a photo of it. Make a list of all the photos you want. Make it your goal to find these places. A big part of your journey is the places you will see along the road—food stalls, gas stations, road crews, abandoned buildings, and road signs. Don’t forget to plan your route, so you’ll pass by these important monuments.
Prepare to Go Off-route
While making a list of all the stops you want is important, you should remember that diverting from this plan is also okay. Part of the great classic road trips is getting lost and finding hidden gems along the way. Don’t feel bad if you missed a stop. Plenty of things like this happen all the time in life. You miss a stop, so you get off the bus on the next one. You missed a bus? Take the next one.
Classic road trips aren’t about what you see. It’s more about what you experienced on the road. Whether it’s sleeping in a motel room that reminds you of the Bates Motel or stopping at a gas station with its vintage signage blinking neon lights, remember to savor every new experience. You never know when you can take time off work and do this again.
There’s always something on the road that will surprise you. Whether it’s a good or a bad surprise, it helps to come prepared for it. Get your gear ready for this adventure. And as long as your car and camera are good and ready to go, the sky’s the limit on the road.