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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Road Trip

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Road Trip

There’s no better feeling than setting out on a road trip with your friends or loved ones. You’ve got your destination in mind and are excited for the fun you’ll have along the way. The last thing you want to encounter are bumps in the road that will put a damper on your adventure.

It pays to be prepared when planning your road trip. We’ve compiled a list of common travel oversights that can cost you time and money while on the road. Cover these basics and your trip will be more of an Easy Rider and less of a National Lampoon’s Vacation.

1. Not bringing snacks and car-friendly foods.

Maximize travel time and avoid frequent stops by stocking up on snacks before you hit the road. Save money by purchasing in bulk and preparing quick bites like sandwiches before you hit the road. For longer trips, a plug-in cooler is an excellent investment to keep drinks and perishables cold. If you are going to stop, consider these 9 healthy snack ideas and where to find them on the road.

2. Not making sure your vehicle is up to snuff.

The most important component of a stress-free road trip is having a vehicle that can go the distance. Taking the time to make sure your car is running smoothly before departure will help prevent costly and time-consuming delays. Plan a few weeks in advance and take care of a few small tasks before they become a bigger problem. Read our Pre-Road Trip Checklist for recommendations on how to keep your vehicle road ready.

3. Not taking advantage of handy technology.

A road trip might be a classic American experience but it doesn’t have to be stuck in the past! There are dozens of travel apps to help navigate, entertain, educate, and more. Check out our list of 10 Travel Apps for Your Next Road Trip. Remember: it’s important to drive safely. Put your trusty copilot in charge of using a cell phone or tablet and pull over when you need to take a closer look.

4. Not being prepared to travel with children and teens.

Keep the dreaded, “Are we there yet?” at bay with games and activities to keep younger passengers occupied. Games like license plate bingo and activities like listening to audiobooks are great ways to keep kids from losing their patience on long drives. Keeping teens entertained and engaged can be a challenge too. It’s important to offer teens a mix of inclusion and independence while on the road. For tips on how to avoid major meltdowns check out 5 Tips for Traveling with Teens and 7 Ways to Keep Children Entertained on the Road.

5. Not packing money-saving essentials.

You’re already saving by choosing to drive to your destination, but there are plenty of other ways to travel on a budget. Read about 9 Essential Items for a Budget-Friendly Road Trip for tips on bringing reusable items and more.

6. BONUS: Not bringing a spare key, and keeping it with you!

Your spare key doesn’t do any good hanging on its hook at home. Be sure to bring it with you to avoid getting locked out or worse, losing your key all together! Keep your spare key separate from where you’d normally keep your keys, or give it to another passenger for safekeeping to ensure it’s always on hand.

On your epic road trip across the United States (or the state line), you’ll need a relaxing retreat from life on the road. InTown Suites’ extended stay properties offer affordable accommodations in convenient locations.