Embarking on a road trip can be one of the most memorable experiences of a person's life, whether it's as life-changing as Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" or as miserable as "National Lampoon's Vacation." A recently released report from the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker found that 47 percent of Americans plan to drive to a vacation this year, up nearly 5 percent from 2013.
If you're planning for a family travel trip to bring the kids up to visit grandma or you're a student traveling with friends for the ultimate spring break experience, there are a number of travel tips and tricks to heed this season as you plan your unforgettable journey:
Determine how long your trip is expected to last and be sure to pack plenty of food, drinks, games and first-aid supplies for your journey. Snacks are an essential part of any trip - whether you're hiking, boating, flying or driving to a destination. Road trip munchies can help participants to adequately set the mood for your travels. Fox News advises drivers to avoid stopping at drive-thru restaurants, as these types of foods can not only add up monetarily, but they can quickly drain energy.
If you're traveling with a large group of friends, consider breaking up the responsibility among friends: have one in charge of healthy options, one manning the cooler and another bringing sweets.
Visiting locations with your best buddies is essential, as road trips can easily become draining or daunting when traveling alone. When planning with a group of friends, your options begin to open up as their creative juices fly. The more people who travel with you, the more games and activities become available. It's important, however, to choose individuals that you can enjoy quiet time with, as well. While driving long stretches of distance can be unbearable when you don't have any company, it can become equally terrible if your participants don't provide small breaks where you can enjoy the serenity of your scenic drive.
Remaining flexible is an important staple for any road trip. Unlike airplanes, you have the luxury of changing the course of your travels, meaning that you can visit as many or as few monuments as you'd like. Want to make a quick pit stop at the Grand Canyon? Go for it. Feeling an impromptu afternoon at the beach? Drive on over. This kind of spontaneity can keep all members of the journey awake and engaged, and it can make for an even greater adventure travel tale that you can spread upon your return.