How to rule the road.
For those who will be traveling to see family and friends this holiday season, festive events and some of the state’s top destinations are definitely on the list. It’s a magical time of year to spend with the people we care about most, but the fun can only happen if you get there safe. Not only that, but your road trip should be as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. So to help, we’re breaking down six common mistakes that can be avoided with a little awareness and preparation.
Being weather unaware
Oklahomans know the weather in our beloved state is consistently inconsistent. No matter where you’re traveling to, it’s important to research the forecast so you know how to pack. Stopping into unique local shops is great fun on any getaway but not so much if you’re having to buy a jacket, gloves or any other item you already have at home out of desperation. Check out AccuWeather or the WeatherBug app before you embark on your holiday road trip.
After-the-fact car maintenance
The last thing you want to do on your getaway is spend time changing a tire or waiting around for repairs at a body shop. Take time before departure to double check everything is in working order: tire pressure, oil, brakes and battery are a good place to start. This also goes for while you’re on the road. Don’t wait for your car to tell you it’s running out of gas. Pull over and refuel even if you still have half a tank left. Many of us have found ourselves driving on E with no gas stations around. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Overplanning the itinerary
Especially if traveling with kids, we can often feel pressured to have every stop mapped out before you get in the car. Planning the structure of your getaway is important, but road trips are supposed to feel free and spontaneous. Remaining open to new, unexpected paths is what makes it an adventure. Go ahead and figure out the best time to arrive at your destinations, but we suggest also factoring in some spare time for experiences you may not even know are out there. You’ll wish you had that wiggle room when you’re somewhere great and you have to leave in order to stay on track.
Downloading as needed
So, you’re an hour into your trip and you’ve heard the same song on the radio three times. Or maybe you’ve hit a massive traffic jam and wonder if there’s another route that can keep you on schedule. The night before you depart, make sure you have your favorite playlists and travel apps downloaded so you not only save your phone data, but free yourself from having to stress about finding resources and entertainment. Having to pull over and download an app is frustrating and time-consuming. It may seem like a small point to make, but it’s an important part of your game plan. If you’re looking for some helpful travel apps to try, check out this previous blog post.
Not packing an emergency kit
Heaven forbid you experience car troubles while traveling during the holidays, but unexpected mishaps can happen. In those situations, the best thing you can have are a charged phone, extra water, snack bars, a flashlight, first aid kit, blankets and a set of tools. Make a list of precautionary items ahead of time and be sure to check it twice before you go. When you’re away from home and having a travel crisis, your pre-trip preparations will be your most reliable saving grace.
Visiting but not checking in
You have a set list of destinations you want to see on your road trip, and you’re likely to find plenty of others along the way. One way you can easily recall all of the incredible experiences you’ve had on this trip in the future is to track your adventure on AdventureRoad.com. Each destination has a Check-In button that, when clicked, stores the destinations you’ve visited in your Account Dashboard. The Check-Ins page also allows you to see nearby attractions for you to consider visiting while you’re in the area. You’ll thank us later when you’re thinking back on all the fun you had!
We hope you have fun and safe travels this holiday season. Be sure to tag us in your road trip pictures on social media!