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Tips to plan a perfect road trip


sagar
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Travel is mostly about dreams, dreaming of landscapes or cities and imagining yourself in them. And when it itches to get away for a little adventure and exploration with an open road calling your name, you jump in the car and hit the road. All that you will need now is a little planning and preparation. With all the best tips and tools to plan the perfect road trip, I've put together this guide that'll tell you everything you need to know when planning a road trip.

 

The first step is the fun one:

 

Deciding on what's most important to you. Distance, Destination and Budget. Once you know this, researching and building out the rest of your plan becomes an easy task.

A look at the map marking all the areas of interest, calculation of distances & travel times between the points and charting out an optimal route that touches upon all of the places that you want to see considering 'Time constraint' is all that you need to do to make a solid plan.

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Route planning:

 

Make sure your route is broken down into doable driving segments both to and from your final destination. You may have an easier time driving through certain parts during specific times of the year. Checking the weather beforehand while gauging the route whether it is free from any storms or other obstacles is a cautious note. For instance, drive through the desert in summer and winding through high mountains in the winter would leave you a second thought before start.

 

Google maps always show multiple routes. Do your home work before you pick the route.

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Have a flexible plan:

Explore tested routes, or discover the variety of interest points that can be found along your newly blazed trail. Make sure your route includes a list of attractions along the way. The more you have on the list the better, Delays are the one thing that you can count on when driving significant distances on an open road. Being flexible is key.

 

Unexpected road blockages/Traffic Jams

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Unexpected detours

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Travel companions:

They play a major role when your plan involves friends or companions. Make sure that all are the comfortable with the schedule being made. If you don't establish this from the start, you may wind up arguing in the car and you may even damage friendships.

 

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Division of Tasks:

Some people are good at navigating; others couldn't read a map if they tried. Some people are good at planning meals, while others think a big bag of chips counts as a good dinner. Know who does what well, and what really matters to your travelling companions, and you will get things done efficiently and to the satisfaction of all.

 

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Have a solid budget:

Driving somewhere can cost you less money than flying there, but it still comes with the hidden costs. For example, be sure to include food, fuel and lodging in your budget, as well as any fun stuff you plan on doing along the way.Many Food joints and hotels will not have credit card facilities.Make sure you carry enough cash.

 

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Fuel:

Your big expense is going to be fuel, Also make sure that you'll have consistent access to fuel stations along your way.Make sure you keep the weight of your cargo at the minimal. The lighter your ride, the longer she'll glide.

 

Never let your fuel gauge go below quarter mark during long drives. It is better to refuel from time to time

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Lodging:

This choice depends largely upon price, comfort, and convenience. You might book a hotel every night, camp out beside the road or crash with friends or even sleep in your car. You can book your lodgings in advance, figuring out where to sleep as you speed toward the night's destination. Some people are more comfortable with uncertainty than others. If you feel comfortable leaving your sleeping arrangements flexible, then you don't need to book all of your lodgings in advance.

 

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Food:

I personally love eating out on a vacation and I make a point to hit up to the restaurants the place is famous for. But, if your gut starts to fight back on the outside food, going healthy or carrying your own food along is the way.

 

Breaks:

Always take quick breaks during long drive to refresh yourself.

Never push your limits.

 

Have your documents and a clean record:

If you are travelling without current documentation of license, registration or insurance, you could be in for a world of hurt if you are pulled over for any reason.Always carry original documents when you go out of state.

 

Okay, Now, you've got your route set, your budget planned out, and your car ready to breath in the air of an open road. Now it's time to pack. Make sure you have all of the important stuff first.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Car Repair and Maintenance:

 

Make Sure Your Ride is Ready. In a few days leading up to your adventure, make sure that your car is in prime condition. This is important for you and your passenger's safety as a healthy vehicle won't break down on you in the middle of nowhere when you are grinding out long miles on a road trip.

 

Make sure your vehicle is serviced before the trip

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Battery: Check if your battery is top

Oils : A quick check on all the Oil levels under the hood.

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Tires and Brakes : Make sure your tires and break pads have enough life left on it.

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Temperature Gauge : Keep on eye on the temperature Gauge.

It is like a heart beat monitor of your car. Make sure it doesn't cross the mid point.

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Air pressure : Always check the air pressure at the beginning of your trip. Air pressure is not accurate when the tires are hot.

Spare tire : Make sure your spare tyre is good condition and check the tyre change tool kit.

Car repair information : A business card for your auto repair shop.

racing-car-1112032_1920.jpg

 

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Safety and Survival: First aid kit

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Flashlight, Multi-tool kit

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Energy bars & Water bottles

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In addition to the basics above, keep these essentials around:

 

  • Paper towels or a hand towel
  • Tissues or a roll of toilet paper
  • Pencil and paper
  • Umbrella
  • Spare change / emergency money
  • USB mobile device charger

 

Having all set for your road trip you're going to see some breathtaking sights and make some incredible memories. If you're into the visuals, getting pics on your phone is a must or write down everything you love and learn along the way, and add photos to create the ultimate travel journal.

 

Everything being planned from head to tail, sometimes you should expect things to go differently. Road constructions, bridges being out, and horrific accidents are almost guaranteed to slow things down along the way. Try not to stress about it and remember that it will probably make a good story someday.There is no denying that the lure of the road is undeniable and probably eternal; it almost seems embedded in our very makeup and hence are these few tips to maintain the romance while minimizing the rigors of the road.

Happy Road tripping. Let's LIVE.. DRIVE.. EXPLORE.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for sharing.

Very informative post. You missed to add the wheel Alignment part.

Had a very bad experience during my last drive to Bangalore due to bad wheel alignment.

I will always take my car to ORR and will perform a test run before going on a long drive.:P

This choice depends largely upon price, comfort, and convenience. You might book a hotel every night, camp out beside the road or crash with friends or even sleep in your car. You can book your lodgings in advance, figuring out where to sleep as you speed toward the night's destination. Some people are more comfortable with uncertainty than others. If you feel comfortable leaving your sleeping arrangements flexible, then you don't need to book all of your lodgings in advance.

For lodging I am sticking to OYO rooms from the past 3 months. I am getting very good deals on decent rooms.flag

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Nice post sagar.

Let me add some more points.

  • Always try to start early in the morning specially when you are covering distances < 700 kilometers.
  • Never push yourself, take power naps when you are in doubt. Petrol pumps, toll booths and hotels are ideal locations for a power nap. Never stop at lonely places.
  • Change the AC recirculation mode to Fresh air mode when you are driving non stop for more than 5 hours, It helps in reducing the fatigue.
  • Google maps is now providing offline maps. Make sure you load them when you are travelling to remote locations.
  • Don't rely on credit cards. Cash is king in rural areas.
  • Fill the windscreen fluid to the brim.

For lodging I am sticking to OYO rooms from the past 3 months. I am getting very good deals on decent rooms.

OYO rooms are easy to book specially for the unplanned road trips.

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Nice tips guys. Will add some more points. Which helps in avoiding the issues when you are travelling with women.:D

  • Avoid night journeys specially when you are travelling through rural areas.
  • Never give lift to unknown people on highways. If there an emergency always call cops. Toll roads will have an emergency contact printed on the toll slip.
  • Stop at decent food joints which has a proper wash room facility.
  • Avoid making an eye contact with strangers on roads which may indulge in road rage.
  • Always keep your car doors locked.
  • ​Make sure your mobile is fully charged.

Will add some more points later.:fight:

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Interesting topic. My home town is in a hilly area. Driving in hills require different skill set. Some important points to keep in mind.

Driving to a Hill Station? things to remember.

  • Engine braking : While on slops staying in low gear keeps you speed in check. Never use the breaks for prolonged period , it will fry your break pads.

  • Overtaking : Do not overtake on a blind curve. Overtake only when you have clear view ahead.

  • Give way : Vehicles driving up hill has a right to go on the narrow curves.

  • Ramps: Narrow roads always have escape ramps. Plan your passage in advance.

  • Temperature Gauge : Keep an eye on it. If it over shoots turn off the air-conditioning or take a break.

  • Taking a break : Do not stop at curves and narrow roads. Make sure you stay completely off road.

  • Horn : Use horn on the blind curves.

  • Momentum : Momentum is the key while driving on hills. Down shift one gear as you approach a blind curve.

  • Heavy vehicles : Respect heavy vehicles on hills. They don't want to loose the speed specially while driving up hill. Wait till you get proper space to overtake.

  • Traffic : Stick to your left during traffic jams. Do not break your lane. Which leads to causing more issues. Take break and enjoy the hills.

  • Rains : Keep you speed in check during heavy rains. It is always slippery on hills. Do not misjudge the depth of puddles. If you are not sure wait till a vehicle pass.

  • Fuel : Fuel up at every opportunity . Mileage varies a lot on hills. Chances of finding Petrol pumps are always thin in hills.

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Road trips can be some of the most fun, cost-effective and flexible types of vacations. All you need is a car full of fuel and a few friends and detailed itineraries. Your article has exactly what is needed, Thanks a ton for sharing.. One needs to follow these easy tips to ensure an unforgettable time.:o

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  • 1 year later...

Hey guys, Great thread and it is quite an exhaustive list up there and I would agree to most of them but would like to add on few general guidelines I follow during my long trips.

 

1) Be aware that condition of the roads can change quickly over a short distance. A smooth highway can quickly change into a pothole-ridden country road with dividers and speed breakers.

2) Anticipate well and have a mental picture of what could happen ahead. Anticipation can avoid a lot of accidents.

3) Slow down while passing through villages/small towns even though the road may be clear ahead.

4) In case you are driving with AC on most of the time, keep it in ventilated mode once in a while to allow some fresh air into the cabin.

5) Don't over-eat especially when it comes to lunch for obvious reasons.

 

Those are few necessities that one should take care of during a road trip which I would like to contribute to the thread.

 

Drive safe..

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Carry some food if ur driving through rural or hill area .
Stop your car where u find a group of palmate having food in dhaba which is not only fresh food but also safe for u and ur loved ones
Check your light if ur driving in night and keep extra [emoji362]



Note guy Ian looking for trip to Leh and ladak in grp from Hyderabad if any one like to join Pls come forward

Sent from my vivo 1601 using India-Drive mobile app

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  • 3 weeks later...
Carry some food if ur driving through rural or hill area .
Stop your car where u find a group of palmate having food in dhaba which is not only fresh food but also safe for u and ur loved ones
Check your light if ur driving in night and keep extra [emoji362]



Note guy Ian looking for trip to Leh and ladak in grp from Hyderabad if any one like to join Pls come forward

Sent from my vivo 1601 using India-Drive mobile app



Been there and done that before but, doing it from Hyderabad still remains a dream to me. Even time I make up a plan but my leave limit at work force me to narrow down my plan and I end up doing it from Delhi.. I so wish I could join you [emoji19]
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