It can be stressful to plan a road trip especially when you might not have so many options because you’re underage and have little experience. There’s always a way around it even if you do not have a car of your own.
You can rent a car! It’ll cost a lot but you can make it happen.
The important thing, mostly after you’ve found a car rental willing to serve under 25’s, is to take note of safe travel tips that’ll ensure you pull up to the car rental at the end of your road trip, in one piece.
Get A Few Suggestions
Before you get to the car rental, consider getting a couple of ideas on platforms like TripAdvisor as to the best stops along the route you’re considering, scenic routes to take, best spots to visit, affordable food options for the duration of your trip and how difficult the commute might be in some areas along your route.
Also, get some suggestions on what kind of car to rent to get the most fun out of your trip, ranging from fuel efficiency, road clearance, available technology, etc.
Next, Check your Car Out
Whether it’s your personal vehicle or you want to rent a car, do the following as soon as you’ve settled on your choice of car.
· Check for wears in the tires, dents in the body. The car rental companies do this before you take their car out, so, you can take your time too and be sure what you’re getting.
· Start the car and let it run. This let’s you know that the car is in good running condition and while you’re at it, figure out the cooling and heating systems as the season demands, the window controls, windshield wipers, light switches (for high and low beams alike).
· Make sure the interior is clean and will not trap smells that can be toxic to you while on the road.
· Find out the location of the fuel latch to save yourself the embarrassment of fishing around when you get to a fuel pump.
Now, you’re all set to drive off
Have a flexible travel plan. There’s no point over scheduling since you cannot be 100% certain about the delays you might meet on the road from the frequent “Merge With Other Lanes” signs to the more occasional “Bridge Out” alerts. There’s no use putting yourself in danger by making up for lost hours on the road while you should be asleep!
Choose between going alone or having some company
The more they say, the merrier. But, you have to be sure that your travel partner or partners are invested in a safe driving process for the duration of your trip otherwise, you’re better off alone with your full playlist, phone charger and car speaker! (You honestly cannot rely on the radio stations for that kind of entertainment)
Make Sure You’re Covered
Just before you leave the rental, ask for a roadside assistance service number, a road map, insurance information. Nothing to worry about, just making sure you’re covered on all fronts.
The You Part
Before a long drive, get enough sleep and eat a good snack or meal. Avoid caffeinated drinks as much as you can. They may give you the immediate focus you need in the moment but will begin to wear off as time passes and will leave you high-strung and largely unfocused.
I’m On The Road Now!
· Put your seatbelt on!
· Stay off the highways as much as you can, but stay off lonely back roads too. A U. S. Roadmap with the little red or pink dots can help you out with back road details that promise to be scenic as well as quick exits, in the event that you grow bored of long, winding and seemingly, endless roads. A good ol’ GPS or Roadtrippers Mobile App or Google Maps can also aid your trip if you prefer a digital solution, although these algorithms are not infallible and you might find yourself backing out of dead ends.
· Pull over and take breaks every couple of hours, grab a quick snack from a cooler or if you get to a convenience or grocery store, stretch your legs a little and if you’ve got a travel partner, swap the wheels with them and get some looking-around-at-the-scenery fun too.
· When you pull over, be sure to move off the road completely except in the case of an emergency, in which case you should put out the emergency alert sign for other road users
· Being underage on a road trip is risky without alcohol in the picture, so, you and and your travel partners must rule that out completely from the menu if you’re going to get back behind the wheels.
· Road rules on using phones while driving differ from state to state and you should probably find out the one for the states you’ll be traveling through, but universally, it’s much better to use a hands-free device to take all your calls, even though the most advisable is to not use your phone at all to minimize distractions as much as you can while behind the wheels.
· Obey speed limits and drive defensively. Always be ahead of traffic ahead, behind and next to you. Keep at least a car’s length distance from the car in front of you in slower speeds and maintain an even wider berth with faster speeds.
Road trips are fun and relaxing as long as you keep it safe and stay covered on all possible fronts. You’ll be thankful for taking these precautions while renting a car or using your own vehicle. Have yourself a great time on that stretch of road!