Hitting the road this Labor Day? Steer clear of road-trip hell by checking out these 20 common holiday driving blunders and get it right this year!
It all sounds very nice in theory doesn’t it? Hop into the car, speed off onto the open road with the wind in your hair for a fun-filled Labor Day road trip.
Unfortunately it doesn’t always work out like this, I’ve certainly had some road trip shockers that’s for sure.
But this is the year to turn it all around! Check out these 20 sure-fire ways to screw up your Labor Day road trip and get it right this time!
1. Neglect Your Vehicle
It seems pretty obvious that you should give your car a maintenance check before you set off on a long road trip but you’d be amazed how many people don’t think of this.
Oil, water, wipers, headlamps, brakes – check it all out!
2. Drive Dirty
It’s not the nicest experience being stuck in a filthy car for 7 hours so why not give it a clean – inside and out? If not now, when?!
3. Be Spontaneous
Road trips and spontaneity are not the most comfortable of bedfellows.
Plan, plan and plan some more.
Get tips and recommendations from friends and use an road trip planner online to work out ideal destinations, distances and driving times.
4. Believe “Breakdowns Don’t Happen to Me”
Let’s hope you don’t break down but you just might.
Pay up for roadside rescue, if the unspeakable happens, you’ll be overjoyed you did.
5. Leave Your Papers at Home
License, registration, insurance – put the documents in your glove box. Now!
6. Jump in the Car with Anyone
You receive a last-minute offer to bunk in on someone else’s road trip, great!
But you need to STOP and THINK: “will I enjoy being stuck in a tin can with these people for many, many hours”?
If the answer’s no then DON”T GO!
7. Join the “Follow the Signs” School of Thought
Believe it or not the road people didn’t have you in mind when they made their signs.
Get a map.
Plan your route.
Sure, you can use GPS but take the map too. Just in case.
8. Starve Your Family/Friends
Food and drink is important. Gas station food sucks. Bring your own.
9. Put Style over Comfort
It’s not a fashion parade. You’re sitting in a car. For hours. Dress comfortably. Slip-off shoes are great for all those “in the car, out the car” stop-offs.
10. Forget that Children Get Bored
Don’t expect the kids to sit like angels in the back for hours on end. It’s just not going to happen.
Games, puzzles, crosswords, car games. Have some ammunition in your armory – you’ll need it.
11. Sentence Your Passengers to Silence
Singing along to your all-time favorite songs is one the very best things about road trips.
Sort out the tunes before you go and get ready to belt it out!
12. Be the Hare not the Tortoise
Your road trip is meant to be fun and enjoyable. And, at the risk of sounding like your mother, it’s a marathon not a sprint!
You’ll lose time along the way (possibly even hours) but don’t sweat it. It’s not worth it.
Break up with your trip with stop-offs every hour and half.
Your passengers will love you for it.
13. Assign Rigid Roles
The driver will get bored of driving and the navigator will get bored of navigating.
Much more fun for everyone.
14. Become a Road Trip Dictator
Consult your fellow road trippers about diversions and activities otherwise your bossiness will spoil everyone’s fun.
Get the kids involved in tracking your route. It will keep them occupied. Maybe.
15. Be Slap-dash with Gas
Don’t wait until you’re running on empty until you think about filling up. You can never be sure when the next gas station will appear.
Cool widgets like this Gas Calculator helps you work out exactly how far your fuel will take you. So there’s no excuse!
16. Be Stingy with Bathroom Breaks
If someone really wants to go then let them.
Refer to Hare and the Tortoise and Road Trip Dictator points above!
17. Work Yourself up into a “Lost Frenzy”
Yes getting lost can be stressful and sometimes scary but panicking/shouting/blaming your significant other isn’t going to help the situation.
Breathe, relax, get some perspective and I guarantee you’ll find your way. Eventually.
18. Be a Traffic Fool
Tailback misery, it’s not fun. Set off early, come back late. Even better, take an extra day either side of the holiday weekend.
19. Get Arrested
A sure-fire way to screw up your trip if ever there was one.
Don’t speed, belt up and don’t get arrested.
20. Take the Whole Thing too Seriously
Let me remind you again that this whole thing is meant to be FUN. If you happen to pass a cool place to stop off, take a detour and if it works out that way (shock, horror) change your route.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Got more road trip tips or Labor Day disaster stories?? Post up your comments below, we want to hear from you!
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