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5 Ways to Ruin Your Road Trip

5 Ways to Ruin Your Road Trip

There are many ways to ruin a road trip, leaving you with a stressful disaster. But, a road trip can also be an unforgettable experience. One that shows you a new side of the world and brings you closer to your fellow travelers.

We don’t want you to need a vacation from your vacation, so we’ve gathered five important things you shouldn’t do on your road trip.

Let’s take a look!

Road Trips Are Amazing When Done Right

There’s so much to love about a road trip done right. While most travelers soar 35,000 feet over you, you’ll get an up-close and personal look at the world. You’ll gain a new understanding and appreciation of how highways, backroads, small towns, and big cities are stitched together in one continuous fabric.

You’ll stumble across amazing sights, people, and food you’d never find otherwise.

And compared to just about any other form of travel, your freedom is unparalleled. The world (and especially the United States) is covered in a web of roads that can take you nearly anywhere you can imagine. All you need to do is point your ride there and go!

5 Ways to Road Trip Ruin

With so much potential, it would be a shame to end up having a bad time on your next road trip. Avoiding these five things can play a crucial role in preventing that!

Not Bringing the Right Tech Accessories

Let’s face it. Generations past may have hopped in the car for a road trip with nothing but a change of clothes and a map. However, we’ve become accustomed to being connected nearly all the time.

Keeping your tech working is a must on a modern road trip, and forgetting your accessories is a surefire way to end up bored, lost, or irritated with each other. Or all three!

Most folks don’t leave home without their phone charger. And that’s doubly true on a road trip.

Roadtrippers rely on their phones for GPS, music, and podcasts. In addition, they’re taking photos and videos, sharing on social media, and of course, keeping in touch through calls and texts.

All of these significantly drain a battery.

So ensure you have your regular wall charger and one you can use with your car’s cigarette lighter power source. Adapters that allow multiple phones to charge simultaneously are even better to help everyone stay powered up. Lucky owners of new vehicles may have USB charging ports built right in.

No adapter required!

Pro Tip: Bring Super Power

For more tech-heavy trips, you can break out the big guns. An inverter allows you to power larger electronics and devices that won’t get enough juice from your cigarette lighter or USB outlet.

The inverter draws power from the cigarette lighter or USB outlet and processes it. It then allows you to use it as a standard three-prong outlet. While you can’t power everything, you should be able to charge laptops, use small appliances, and even watch TV! 

Your Car Wasn’t Serviced Before Leaving

Your road trip won’t be going anywhere, literally, if you’ve broken down on the side of the road. Plus, an expensive repair from the only local service shop can put a serious dent in your trip’s budget.

Regular maintenance is always important, and especially so when you know, you’ll be relying on your car far from home. Before any long trips, make sure you’ve gotten any warning lights or lingering issues addressed. Check the levels and health of fluids like your oil and wiper fluid and ensure your tires are at the proper inflation.

It’s certainly worth bringing your car in for a general tune-up if you haven’t done so in a while. 

Sometimes, you’ll still run into car trouble despite your best preparations. If you’re a member of an auto club like AAA or a roadside assistance service, you should also ensure your coverage is still active.

In addition, it may be an excellent time to refamiliarize yourself with your program’s benefits and make sure they apply where you’ll be traveling. 

Being Hungry (or Riding with Hungry Kids)

Often one of the biggest expenses on a road trip or any vacation is simply feeding yourself. Even opting for the most affordable meals on the road can add up to some serious cash after a few days to a week. And so can those heavily marked-up rest stop snacks designed to prey on weary travelers and their rumbling stomachs.  

The solution?

Plan ahead, and bring your own.

A six-pack of soda or a case of bottled water will cost significantly less per drink at the supermarket or big box store. The same goes for snacks, where you can really save by buying in bulk. With the help of a 12-volt portable refrigerator, you can even keep sandwiches, simple meals, or fresh foods cool and safe. 

This little bit of planning can go a long way toward more money in your pocket for extra fun and exploration. 

Pro Tip: Here are some nostalgic 1990s road trip snacks to bring with you!

What Road Do I Take?

It may be tempting to load up the car, plug the address into your GPS, and hit the road. But it can also be disastrous. Planning your route is extremely important for reasons ranging from personal driving style to critical safety issues. 

You can use Google Maps, Apple Maps, or any other GPS as a starting point. You’ll want to take a close look at your route and go over it step-by-step. Are there any toll roads you’d like to avoid? Will you be hitting a major commuter road right at rush hour?

Are you being routed through an area with tons of traffic lights or construction delays? All of these things can present unexpected problems for your road trip.

This is even more important if you’re traveling in an RV or towing a trailer. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of roads that aren’t RV-friendly for reasons such as length restrictions, lack of accessible gas stations, and low bridge heights.

Barreling down the street with an RV slightly too tall for an overpass can seriously damage or destroy your roof. Now that can really ruin a road trip! 

What Do We Do Now?

There’s a romantic idea of the road trip. A freewheeling, spontaneous journey, where you let the road take you wherever it may lead and end up richer for it.

That can be true! Sometimes, at least.

But in many cases, failing to do some basic research and planning can leave you disappointed with even the most extraordinary destinations. 

For all but the most unencumbered travelers, you’ll only have a limited time in any given place. Some people may thrive on being tossed into a completely unfamiliar city or place, but many more others could end up lost, overwhelmed, or bored.

Knowing the top things you’d like to see and do will help you make the most of your time, even if you’re not the type to make a schedule while traveling. And a bit of research about your route, stops, and destination could reveal an entirely new perspective to your trip!

Ruin a Road Trip? Not If You Avoid These!

Just about anyone can have a good time on a road trip because it should be a reflection of you and the things you love about travel. It’s difficult to say what you should do to have a rewarding travel experience.

But it’s easy to remember these tips about what not to do. The rest is up to you. Happy adventuring!

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