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On The Road Again

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Once the weather warms up, the lure of a road trip is often too strong for many adventurous motorists to resist. Those who want to get away from it all and enjoy the minutiae of the trip often take to the road in short jaunts or extensive sightseeing vacations.

For road-trippers, it’s often about the drive itself more so than the destination. There’s something appealing about hitting the open road and seeing the sights you would otherwise if traveling by air.

Thanks to displeasure with customer service and rising prices for commercial flights, a growing number of travelers are taking to the road, as is evidenced by the number of cars on the highways. Often affordable when done correctly, the road trip is ideal for cash-strapped families or singletons looking to vacation on a budget.

* Make a plan. Although part of the mystique of the road trip is traveling at will, travelers who want to maintain some control over their travels should set a course of travel that inlcudes both lodging and restaurant locations. It pays to know where gas stations are, including ones that stay open for 24 hours. Running out of fuel can quickly spoil a road trip.

* Clean the car before departing. Chances are, road-trippers will acquire maps, fast food wrappers, discarded cups, and other paraphernalia while on the road. Starting out with a vehicle already overrun with junk can make traveling a drag. Clean the car before departing for the road, and continue to do so periodically during the trip.

* Mix highways with local roads. What’s the fun of taking a road trip if all that’s seen is a sea of cars going 65 mph? Be sure to travel on slow-going local routes in addition to highway driving to mix up the trip and ensure the best opportunities for taking in scenery.

* Delegate tasks well. Find out who in the car reads maps well, is good at choosing tourist spots, makes meal decisions, and all the other necessities of the trip. Play toward people’s strengths, which will make for a more enjoyable trip.

* Get documents in order. Don’t forget to bring along an updated insurance card, license, registration, and any other necessities. Getting pulled over in an unfamiliar locale is never fun, but it can be less stressful if you know all of your documents are on hand and up to date. Inspect documents well in advance of the trip to allow for replacements to be sent if need be