A useful list to check over before you set off to DRIVE to your Holiday Destination, courtesy once again of http://www.52perfectdays.com
GETTING READY FOR YOUR TRIP
- Ask friends, or use the large number of social networks, about places to see and visit on your trip.
- Pre-trip car maintenance – Get your oil changed. Check battery, tires, coolant, and AC. Do a pressure check of the cooling system.
- Check your local car insurance and recovery programs – They provide maps and guidebooks as well as roadside assistance in case of a breakdown.
- Do a test pack. The longer the trip the more you will need to take. In addition, the type of trip planned, i.e. camping trip, will dictate some of the cargo you must take along. A test pack of your car will show you if you will be able to pack the car safely. Be sure to maintain the driver’s line of sight. You may find you will need to reduce your cargo, get a larger vehicle, get a trailer or get a car top carrier. It is better to know that in advance as opposed to when you are packing the car the night before or the morning you are leaving
WHAT TO PACK
- Good Music – Get music for both yourself and your travel companions – Satellite radio provides a great variety of programming including music, sports, news and more. Download onto your MP3 player such as the Apple iPod classic 120 GB or go old school and burn CDs.
- AC Power Adapter – In combination with the proper charger, the adapter can be used to charge almost any electronic device while in transit. If you are low on power outlets in your car, a splitter can be used to double or triple your capabilities. Make sure you unplug them when stopped.
- Take an address book – Mail postcards as often as you can.
- Cameras – still and video – most digital cameras have the ability to do both like the Canon Powershot 10MP Digital Camera . Make sure you have enoughmemory cards and batteries
- Journals – Bring along a good ol’ journal so you can write or draw pictures about your trip. If travel companions are too little, have them draw their favorite things. This can be a great keepsake and reminder of you adventure.
- Games and Books – Both for the road and destination. A few books or games can help pass the time on a rainy day or during some down time.
- Pack tools – including an emergency road kit, for emergency auto work, camping, and minor repairs.
- Chargers for all of your electronics and, if needed, the proper adapters.
A solar powered charger is a cool device for charging small devices like MP3 players and some phones if you lack power while camping, hiking or backpacking. Some are even built into bags or backpacks.
- Cell phones – Great emergency flashlights at night. Or how about one of the new hand operated torches that don’t need batteries?
- GPS and Maps – The GPS is great for helping you get around and lots of fun. The Garmin nüvi or the Tom Tom, or simply Google Maps on a smart phone are all great option. Maps are a great back up for the GPS plus they allow you to look at the big picture.
- Pack your medications. Make sure you have your prescription meds and other over-the-counter medications.
- Bring along pillows and blankets.
- Ice chest that plugs into a car power outlet like this 18 qt. Compact Cooler – great while on the road. They keep stuff cold while driving without the mess of ice, but don’t leave it plugged in once you ignition is off. It will drain your battery.
- Comfort toys – If traveling with little ones, make sure they have their blanket or Teddy or whatever comforts them and be sure to track it like one of the children on the trip. If you lose it, the trip will be miserable.
- Drinks and snacks – Make sure you have enough snacks and drinks for everyone. This saves time by not having to stop. Also a thermos is great for hot drinks like coffee. Most coffee shops will fill it for you.
- Pack your sense of humor. Not everything will go as planned. Be ready to smile and move on.
- Set goals but do not stress over them. Worry less about the destination and more about the journey. You may get there a little late, but it will much more enjoyable without stress. Just let your Hotel know what time you think you will arrive.
- Try to find something special to do for each traveling companion. This can be difficult due differences in age, sex and interests of your co-travelers, but it will give everyone a vested interest in the trip and improve the experience.
- Blog your trip– Make it simple – Tweets on Twitter or go all out with a website, but blog it for friends and family to see. Now, it requires you bring along a laptop, netbook or smart phone, but it will make it fun and allow you feedback from those following your trip.
- Change drivers – This is most important if traveling long distances. Road fatigue can be deadly.
- Document the trip – Use all that is available – photos, videos, journals, blogs, etc. These will be your best souvenirs.
- Photograph your fellow travelers – We tend to get caught up in photographing the sites and scenery, but you are there to share the moment with people close to you. They are more important than the sites. Get the best of both worlds by putting them in the picture.
- Stop and have a picnic.
- Dress comfortably while driving. Make sure you are comfortable. I like to wear shoes that I can slip off while driving.
- If a co-traveler wants to stop, then stop. The happier they are, the better the trip will be.
- Petrol – keep an eye on the tank, in some places, stations may be rare, use GPS to track stations. It is better to have a full tank than an empty tank.
- Look for the unexpected – Make time for that unexpected “Special Place” that you see signposted en route. It can be a memorable experience even if you do get behind schedule.
- While on the road, try some local food favorites or delicacies.
- Take advantage of rest stops – These vary but they tend to be clean and sometimes informative. There is usually a place for the kids to run around for a bit.
Overall the important thing is to get to your destination safe and sound. And do remember that all of you in the car are on Holiday. Enjoy yourselves.