10 Tips for Planning an Awesome Road Trip – Signals AZ | Gmx Pharm

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A good road trip encourages spontaneity — stopping to explore a tasty-looking cafe or take in an eye-catching view when the opportunity arises. But even traveling by car requires a little research and preparation. “Before you set off, it’s important to plan your route properly,” says George Molina, a San Antonio-based travel consultant with AAA Texas. “Keep up to date with the weather forecast and road conditions and make sure your vehicle is ready.”

We asked Molina and other travel experts for their top travel tips.

10 tips for planning an amazing road trip signals az


1. Start planning sooner rather than later.

The best time to start planning is now — or as soon as possible, says Ashleigh Rudolph, founder of Tahoe, Calif.-based Pine Road Travel, which plans bespoke RV road trips. For example, it’s important to book campsites well in advance when visiting popular spots like national parks.

2. Use planning tools.

Among the wide range of apps, websites, atlases, travel guides and other tools for road trippers, a few stand out:

Google Maps. Travelers consistently give Google’s platform top marks. The free phone app and website allows drivers to choose a start and end location and get automatically generated step-by-step driving directions. The tool also allows you to customize routes to avoid tolls or highways, add detours, identify points of interest along the way, avoid traffic jams, and more. Kevin Revolinski, a Madison, Wisconsin-based travel writer and author of Backroads & Byways of Wisconsin, calls Google Maps an unparalleled blend of power and simplicity. “It’s silly how simple it is,” he says.

road trippers. For an even more complete and targeted tool, check out the free Roadtrippers website and app, which boasts of having 25 million trips planned totaling 16.9 billion miles.

books and street atlases. “If you go exploring and just see the location of the country, I like the road atlas,” says Revolinski. The visual review of his route on the page provides a broad overview, allowing him to see places of interest that may be off-road. And don’t forget the old-fashioned guides, especially about dreaming in the armchair.

Other useful apps. If you’re traveling consider HotelTonight for last minute accommodation deals. Waze for traffic and road condition updates; and Spotify for music and podcasts to stay entertained and informed, suggests Jessica Dunham, a Phoenix-based travel writer and author of The Open Road: 50 Best Road Trips in the USA.

3. Prepare your car.

“At AAA, we tell drivers to make a good ‘BET’ to reduce the risk of a roadside accident by having a vehicle’s battery, engine and tires checked by a trusted mechanic before getting in.” , says Molina. The most common repairs performed at AAA-approved repair shops are electrical repairs, especially for battery failures.

4. Pack an emergency kit for the trip.

Of course, bring your driver’s license, vehicle registration document and insurance documents with you. Also don’t forget: road atlas, phone charger, some cash and toll coins, first-aid kit, jumper cables, spare tire and tire repair kit, one gallon of drinking water per person, and a small cooler stocked with non-perishable snacks, Dunham says. It also doesn’t hurt to throw a blanket in the trunk when you’re out and about in the winter.

5. Add detours to your itinerary.

It may be too easy to embark on the ultimate end of your journey, at the risk of missing out on worthwhile stops. For example, there are some fantastic museums and memorials (in the Midwest, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio is one of them). And if you head west to Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, you can detour to South Dakota’s Black Hills to see the Crazy Horse Monument, Devil’s Tower and Mount Rushmore — not to mention the offbeat local ones Restaurants and small towns that you can find if you slow down a bit.

6. Imagine an epic road trip that’s all about the route.

Some of the best trips are more about the road you travel than a final stop. Of course, one of the classics is Route 66; the 3,600-mile Great Northern Route, which follows US Route 2 from Maine to Washington; the 2,000-mile Great River Road, which follows the Mississippi from its source in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico; and the Oregon Trail.

7. Estimate your total mileage realistically.

The distance you can travel on any given trip depends on your personal needs and ability, as well as how many detours and stops you are willing to factor in. “For a 14-day trip, you can reasonably do a total of 1,600 to 1,800 miles, and in some cases 2,000 miles,” says Dunham. “For a shorter three-day trip, plan on 200 to 300 miles.” Trips that primarily traverse rural highways can cover more total area than those that focus on harder-to-navigate back roads and byways. If you’re too ambitious in terms of mileage, you risk turning what was a fun adventure into a nerve-wracking ordeal.

8. Also, don’t try to cover too many miles in a single day.

Drowsy driving is dangerous. Typically, you need at least seven hours of sleep each night to keep daytime car trips at bay, notes Molina. Again, a lot depends on the circumstances and personal preferences and tolerances. Revolinski says he could spend the first eight to 10 hours behind the wheel starting a journey west from Madison just to cover most of the prairie. “So the first day can be long,” he says. Once he’s on the road, he might only drive three hours a day, depending on how he’s feeling.

9. Make regular stops.

Regular stops help you stay alert and enjoy the ride, Molina says. “To stay alert, stop for a short distance every two hours or 100 miles and, if possible, ride in turns with an alert passenger,” he advises.

10. Don’t rule out frequent stops or detours if something looks inviting.

Revolinski notes that a unique sidewalk café is more likely to create a lasting memory than the McDonald’s originally planned for a quick lunch break. “I like to stop at things I’ve discovered by accident, like roadside landmarks or a particular restaurant,” he says.

**Content published with permission from AARP and originally published on AARP.com.

To plan your trip through Arizona, check this out Food, Travel, Leisure at Signals A Z.com.

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