• Setting off on a road trip with friends? Don't forget these 5 tips

    2016-10-20

    The summer presents an ideal time for young travelers to set off on a vacation with friends. With school ending and the sun shining, the possibilities are endless - a weekend in a beach bungalow or a cabin perched high in the forest are best experienced in the warmth of summer.

    However, young explorers often struggle to find the funds for an expensive plane ride. Instead, why not take a road trip to save money and see the world up close as you travel to your destination? Before you leave, it's important to pack the right items and make the proper plans to ensure that your road trip runs smoothly. Get the most of your journey with these five travel tips and tricks for a fun road trip with friends.

    1. Pack the essentials
    When you're traveling to your destination via car, the belongings that you pack are going to be different than if you were to fly. If you have limited space in your vehicle and are traveling with a lot of people, only packing the essentials is crucial. You may want to call your hotel and see what items they include in your stay. For example, if you're road-tripping to a beachside hotel, ask if they provide complimentary towels and beach chairs. It's always a good idea to leave toiletries like shampoo and soap behind as well, as most accommodations provide these for guests.

    The extra room you have can be reserved for snacks, as you probably won't want to stop every time you get hungry or thirsty. If you're looking to save money, bring reusable water bottles so you can fill them up at rest stops. Foods like trail mix and fruit will stay fresh for a while and are convenient to eat on the go.

    2. Use navigation systems
    Never trust your friend who claims he or she knows where to go. Have your smartphone or GPS system on and ready for use with your desired address plugged in at all times. After all, there's nothing worse than getting lost, especially at night.

    3. Make the journey fun
    The best aspect of road trips is that they have the potential to feel like an extended part of your vacation. Make the journey fun by creating music playlists. Have everyone on your trip contribute a couple of songs that they like and blast them as you drive.

    Switching drivers every couple of hours will allow everyone to kick back and relax as you make your way to your ocean paradise. Taking along electronics such as a laptop to play DVDs on for longer rides will pass the time as well.

    4. Dress comfortably
    Even the most inexperienced travelers know that dressing comfortably will make your journey more pleasant. However, on long car rides, this is of the utmost importance. Remember that you can change once you get to your destination. National Geographic magazine suggested slipping on your coziest shorts or yoga pants, especially if your car is cramped. Bottom line: You won't enjoy your experience, even while your favorite songs are playing, if you're wearing tight, uncomfortable clothing.

    5. Use phone apps for assistance
    The Jetset Times recommended making use of mobile phone applications that help you find the cheapest and closest gas stations. This won't only save you money and prevent you from running out of gas, but will lead you to the nearest bathrooms, as there's nothing worse than having to go and not knowing when you're going to stumble upon a restroom. GasBuddy is perfect for locating the most convenient gas station, while AroundMe will find bars, restaurants, gas stations and anything else you may need.

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This plan provides insurance coverage that only applies during the covered trip.
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