Going on a Road Trip?
Traveling by land does have its advantages – you can go as fast or as slow as you like, choose your mode of transportation (car, trains or bus) and enjoy the view. You can't really do that from an airplane or a cruise ship. So is last minute travel by land making you break out into a sweat and causing panic attack? It doesn't have to. Here are tips you can use:
Get a map.
Never leave home without it. Other than a water bottle and a reliable car, a good road map is your best friend when traveling last minute by land. Choose a motorist's map because it has more detailed information about the roads and highways you might have to use.
If you have time, try to study the map and mark your current location and your destination. Look at the route you want to take and try to check alternate routes as well. You never know if there's a traffic jam or construction work somewhere. A good GPS system should give you all the help you need.
While you're at it, try to check for local accommodations, gas stations, restaurants, hospitals or clinics along the way. That should give you sufficient information on the most basic things – where to get gas, where to eat, go to the bathroom, sleep or get your tires checked. That way, you'll be able to plan your trip accordingly.
Pack up the necessities.
Bring only the things you will truly need on this trip, although if you'll be traveling by car, you probably can pretty much bring just about anything that will fit in your trunk or backseat. If you're traveling by public transportation, make sure to bring only the necessary stuff. That will help keep you mobile so you can move around fast.
Check your car.
Never go on a last minute travel by land without having your car checked. Don't leave anything to chance. So maybe the next gas station/repair shop is just 10 miles away, but what if your car breaks down – are you willing to walk/hitch the rest of the way just to get your car checked? Make sure everything is in order before you even leave your driveway.
Stop and get your bearings.
Last minute trips can be forever trips if you get lost. If you've been traveling a while on the road, stop and try to see if you're going in the right direction or at least taking the right road. Use landmarks and street signs to determine your exact location. Got a GPS? Use it.
Going public? Confirm your tickets.
If you'll be taking your last minute travel by land on public transportation, make sure to get your tickets ahead of time. You could stand in line, of course but if you want to make sure you travel faster, have your tickets in hand.
Have cash on hand.
Not every destination you arrive at will have an ATM or a bank. In case you need cash fast, you should at least have something in your wallet, bag or pocket. If you're traveling by land at the last minute, make sure you have cash in change -- $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills, along with loose change in coins to pay possible tolls. So in case you find a hotel, inn or restaurant that will only take cash, you're ready.
Plus, you never know if you'll have to make a call from a telephone booth. After all, there are still areas where mobile phones won't work.
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