The pandemic crisis continues to affect travel plans. As a result, US holidaymakers are advised to plan local and national vacations as too many international destinations have implemented high restrictions on entry. It makes sense to focus on local travel, as you can get more control over your budget, your plan, and your requirements. Yet don’t be fooled into believing that local holidays are going to be dull. On the contrary, now is the best time to plan a summer road trip.
Road trip enthusiasts and amateurs, please beware. The extreme heatwaves hitting the US and Canada will make driving highly uncomfortable in the western territories along the Pacific coast. Temperature anomalies have set new records, reaching as high as 122.9 Fahrenheit in Washington and 121.3 F in Canada. As such, you want to avoid these regions or delay your trip until the end of the heatwave. It goes without saying that no road trip would be safe without primarily checking your vehicle and performing all essential repairs. If you are driving cross-state, check with your car insurer that your vehicle is insured for the whole duration of the trip, even in another state. Finally, last but not least, If you are planning to share the drive with friends, you want to ensure that everyone is insured to drive your vehicle.
Driving Too Long Distances Without Breaks
As tempting as it is to set yourself challenging goals, you don’t want to sit for too long at the wheel. A lot of professionals have been working remotely since the start of the pandemic. If this is your case, your body and mind are not used to benign in a car for an extended amount of time. Driving is a lot more exhausting than we realize. The lack of practice over the last year is likely to make itself felt. You could experience difficulties staying focused on the road. You could also feel physically tired after a short journey, as your body is constantly submitted to motions inside a vehicle. The bottom line: You want to plan frequent breaks to recharge your batteries. Fatigue, both physical and mental, is one of the leading causes of car crash accidents. And nobody wants to ruin a road trip with friends by getting involved in a car collision.
Not Packing Snacks
Snacking or no snacking, that is the question, as a modern Shakespeare would say. On a road trip, you need to plan regular stops for food and drinks. So, you may not want to pack additional; snacks in the car. However, restaurants opening hours can change dramatically come the summer holidays. Some business owners may change their opening times to keep their shop cool and fresh, therefore opening only a limited number of hours during the day. Others might be enjoying vacations themselves and have left the shop closed until their returns. Finally, restaurants that rely on supplies from regions that have been affected by the heatwave could be forced to shut temporarily after running out of ingredients. So, you might have to drive longer than expected distances to find somewhere to eat. Hunger doesn’t suit anybody. It makes you cranky, distracted, and prone to reckless decisions. So, packing some healthy snacks for emergencies can be a brilliant idea.
Not Taking Paper Maps
We hear you. You’ve got a smartphone and a sat nav in your car. Why would you need paper maps too? The answer is: because you never know what could happen. Navigators are useless when they lose satellite contact. If you are driving in a remote area with little network access, you may not get any feedback about your position or direction. Additionally, if your sat nav device doesn’t use the latest road map update, you could be sent in the wrong direction with no way of knowing any better.
Phones can have similar connection issues. You can find applications that provide offline navigation systems. However, you don’t want to rely only on an electronic device. If you run out of battery or damage your smartphone, you could be left with no guidance.
Not Wearing Sunscreen Protection
Don’t assume that being inside a vehicle protects you from sunlight. Your car windows don’t block all the UV rays, even tinted windows. While your windscreen can block most UV rays, side windows are considerably less effective. Therefore, US drivers are more likely to be exposed to the sun on the left side. Passengers will be exposed on the right side. The longer you drive, the more likely you expose your skin to damage.
Not Planning The Route
Road trips are made to be spontaneous!
Well, not quite. As appealing as spontaneity might be, it is unlikely to find your accommodation and food. You need to plan your itinerary so you can identify the best places to stop. You will need to book your hotel rooms ahead to avoid last-minute panic. You are more likely to get a better price on the room too! Additionally, planning will ensure you can book attractions you want to see and identify the best places to visit and explore. Planning what matters is precisely what enables you to be spontaneous for the other things.
Don’t Attempt Risky Instagram Photos
Nothing says fun vacation like a breathtaking Instagram shot. But be careful not to put yourself at risk for the sake of one photo. Over the past decades, an Internet subculture has emerged of individuals taking high-risk photos for the sake of social media likes. Bloggers and influencers have paid with their lives for a death-defying picture.
Not Packing Weatherproof Outfits
Tees and a few pairs of shorts, what else does one need on a summer trip? The answer might surprise you. You want to pack for all the seasons. The weather could take a turn for the worse. So packing weatherproof outfits will keep you safe and comfortable. You may never need to wear your rain jacket or your heavy sweater. But things would be a lot less enjoyable if you needed to wear them but forgot to pack them!
Are you planning your summer road trip? We hope you’ll have a lot of fun, wherever you decide to go. Be safe on the road, and make incredible memories to make you smile for the rest of the year.