Road trips are especially popular when families go on vacation in the summer. Fall is also a busy travel time as crowds diminish and weather gets cooler. But the idea of just “taking off” isn’t necessarily the best way to travel economically and safely. Preparation is essential for your road trip to be enjoyable, on budget, and safe.
· Plan Ahead: Always research your destinations and the routes you'll be taking. Know the weather conditions, road closures, or any area-specific conditions you should be aware of. Download appropriate apps so you can check conditions as you travel, because we all know things can change quickly.
· Emergency Kit: Carry a well-stocked emergency kit. This should include first-aid supplies, a flashlight, blankets, bottled water, non-perishable food items, and a multi-tool. You might want to include a warning flare, too.
· Stay Connected: While the idea of going off-grid might sound appealing, it's essential to have a way to communicate in case of emergencies. Carry a cell phone and keep it charged. Portable charges are essential if you’ll be out of touch for an extended time. Also consider a satellite phone if you'll be in very remote areas.
· Hiking Safety: If your trip includes hiking, never hike alone, stay on marked trails, and carry a map of the area. Make sure someone knows your hiking plans and when you're expected to return. Know your ability level, and don’t take off in conditions that are beyond your capabilities.
· Wildlife Safety: Remember you're in their territory. Maintain a safe distance, never feed wild animals, and store your food securely. Especially keep this in mind if you visit national parks. Selfies are not what you should be thinking about if wildlife is in the vicinity.
Photos by Beverly Burmeier and free sources