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While it can be tempting to fly across the Atlantic for a romantic getaway, or a family vacation, you should first explore your domestic travel opportunities. The US is filled with unique destinations and a plethora of activities and terrains to explore. One way you can see a lot in one trip is to plan a road trip. Pack the car and plan your travel route through destinations you’d like to visit! Spend the night, or even a few hours, exploring new towns and sights on the way to your destination. A road trip can provide you with family bonding time and an opportunity to get the most out of your travels. Here are five great tips to get you started on your journey:

Plan a Route Before You Leave

While it might be tempting to travel with the idea that you’ll “pull over when you’re tired”, this plan may not turn out to be as romantic as it sounds. There could be strips of the drive that have nowhere to pull over to check into a hotel, and you could end up sleeping in your car, or driving tired. Having a loose plan and some predetermined rest points can save you the hassle of feeling overly exhausted.

Clean Your Car

It’s easy to let your car become a dumping ground for water bottles and fast food wrappers on a long road trip. To give yourself the most comfortable environment for traveling, make sure to clean your car before you leave, and throughout the trip. Every time you stop for food or gas, do a quick trash check. A clean environment can be a stress relief in the taxing hours of a long drive.

Have Roadside Assistance

Enrolling in a program like AAA can be a smart precautionary measure taken before a long trip. It will save you time and energy if you have a number to call if anything should happen over your trip – and odds are, it might. While the road can be fun, it also comes with some dangers, and it is always important to be prepared and stay safe.

Get Google Maps

Google Maps can help you plan out your general routes. It also is a great resource for different paths to take to get to a certain destination, and can provide you with restroom locations, hot spots to eat, and tourist activities in the area you’re traveling through. It can also give you a hands free navigation system so that no one has to be in charge of directions.

Book Ahead  

While you don’t have to book every hotel and restaurant ahead of time, it could be beneficial to make a loose plan, and book accordingly. You never know when a hotel is going to fill up, and it can make your life a lot easier knowing that you have a comfortable bed and a nice shower waiting for you.

No matter where you’re going, a road trip can become a great experience if you follow these tips and do it right!