Taking a road trip to Florida is always a good idea. There is so much to do and see that will help you and your family make new memories. Before you pack up and go, there are some pre-trip planning items you should add to your list to help you have a fun and safe vacation.
Choose Your Route
Depending on your route and how far away from the state you are, there may be fun road trip stops along the way that you and your travel companions would enjoy. You may want to take a route that will take you longer, but allow you to visit more places along the way. If you are less interested in the journey, and more interested in getting to the Florida sunshine as soon as possible, you will want to choose a more direct route. While you are likely to have a GPS signal wherever you are, it never hurts to keep paper maps in the car too. You can usually pick these up at state rest stops.
Make a List of Activities
Before you take your road trip to Florida, figure out what activities you want to do when you are there. If you are looking forward to enjoying the beaches in Florida, make a list of beach and ocean activities you would want to partake in like parasailing or building sandcastles. Florida offers a number of amusement parks to visit, and you can buy tickets to these places in advance online. The Everglades National Park is a big attraction in the state and is a great place to take in some natural beauty. Wherever you are headed in Florida, do some research to plan and book activities in advance.
Book Your Stays in Advance
If you want to have a successful road trip, you should book where you are going to stay overnight in advance. If you are coming from far away, you may need to book a stay in a state outside of Florida that is along your drive. Be realistic about how far you can drive in a day, so you can plan your stays accordingly. Cities across the state of Florida offer all kinds of accommodations from hotels, to short-term rentals. If you are traveling with pets, make sure you are booking stays in places that allow animals. Booking your stays in advance through third-party booking websites can often save you a lot of money on hotel stays.
Get Your Car Ready
Before you take a road trip, you should make sure your car is ready. Check to see whether your car is due for an oil change. Make sure your fluids are filled, including your coolant and your windshield wiper fluid. Check the traction on your tires, and make sure they are properly filled. If you have a lot of clutter or trash in your car, clean the interior to help make space for passengers and luggage. You may consider getting a ceramic coating put on your car. Ceramic coating repels contaminants such as dirt, sap, bugs, and salt. You should also make sure your windshield wipers are in good working condition and are free of cracks.
Pack Snacks and Beverages
Before you go on your trip, go shopping for the snacks and beverages you want to bring with you. Packing your own snacks can save you money on your trip and lets you have exactly what you want as opposed to whatever is on the shelves at the convenience store. Packing your own snacks is a great opportunity to bring healthy foods like fresh or dried fruit and whole-grain crackers or granola bars. Bringing a cooler with ice and bottled water and other drinks will ensure you always have a cold drink even if you are miles away from the next rest stop. Having plenty of water in the car is especially important if you are traveling during the hot summer months.
Put Together a Playlist
One of the key things to prepare for when you are getting ready for a road trip is what music you are going to listen to along the way. Music on road trips, especially upbeat music, can help keep your energy up when you are driving for a long period of time. Music also sets the tone of the trip and can get everyone excited for the vacation. If you put together a playlist that is the same length as your trip, you will never be without good tunes along the way. Podcasts or audiobooks can also be great for road trips. Both of these mediums provide the opportunity to learn something and can keep your mind occupied on long stretches of highway.
Prepare for Emergencies
While no one wants to have an emergency while they’re on the road, it is still important to plan for them. If you do not already have a roadside assistance policy, such as AAA, consider investing in one. Many car dealers also offer roadside assistance policies. Make sure you have a first aid kit in the car, in the event that someone is injured. Be sure to keep jumper cables in the car, as well as a spare tire and jack, just in case. You should also keep a seatbelt cutter and glass window breaker close at hand.
Prepare Your Home
Before you back out of the driveway, you should make sure your home is prepared for you to be away. Turn your thermostat to a lower or higher temperature depending on the season to save energy. There is no need to keep it at its normal setting when no one will be home. If you are planning on being gone for a while, put your mail on hold or have a neighbor come and collect it. Make sure you lock all of your windows and doors before you go.
You can make your Florida road trip dreams a reality with a little pre-trip planning and booking in advance. Carefully plan your route and make sure to bring enough snacks to tide everyone over for the drive. Before you know it, you’ll be basking in the warm Florida air.
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