Prepare for a Road Trip

car2Taking a road trip in your car can be one of the most fun and memorable ways to travel. Instead of simply flying over the country, why not take the time to really experience it? In some cases, travel by auto can be cheaper than airline travel too.

Traveling by car can be a lot of fun, but you are bound to enjoy your trip more if you plan ahead and prepare wisely.


These are some things to consider for your trip:

  • Plan ahead for motels or hotels on the route.
  • Consider joining an auto club or adding that feature to your car insurance.
  • Get your vehicle checked out before you leave.
  • Try to remain flexible.
  • Include necessary items in your packing to keep everybody comfortable on the road.

When you get exhausted after a full day of driving, it is no fun to have to look around for a motel or hotel. If you travel during a peak season of the year, it might be hard to find a place to stay. That is why it might be prudent to book motels or hotels or even camp sites along the route. This makes travel a bit less flexible, but it also can make it more secure.

Do you belong to an auto club. Good ones also offer discounts on motels, restaurants, and even attractions, so they may pay for themselves. Besides, if you do get a flat tire or have other problems, it can be nice to know who to call.

Take the precaution of taking your car in for a quick checkup before you leave. Often, some minor problem can get fixed before you start racking up miles, and that can save your trip.

You may want to make good time on your trip, but you know you have to schedule in more bathroom breaks and other stops if you are traveling with kids or elderly people. Also, you will have more fun if you can take the time to explore interesting attractions along the way.

Think about who you will travel with and plan ahead. If you have children, bring along some things to amuse them in the car. If you have an elderly or ill person, make sure they have medication and other essential supplies.

Is it Cheaper to Fly or Take Your Car?

Are Trips Cheaper by Air or by Car?

Should you travel by plane or car?

Should you travel by plane or car?

If you have to travel a short distance, it is probably obvious that travel by car makes sense. When you account for time you spend at the airport, the price of tickets, and everything else, having a vehicle makes sense.

But if you need to travel for several hours, or even several days, does it ever make sense to take your car instead of fly? You have to consider the cost of plane tickets, but you also need to factor in the loss of time, extra meals, and possible hotel or motel stays. The right answer probably depends upon the number of people that you are traveling with and the time you have for your trip.

The right answer depends upon several factors, and these include:

  • Would you need to rent a car at your destination if you do not have your own vehicle?
  • How many people are traveling with you?
  • Compare the cost of plane tickets vs. gasoline, extra hotel or motel stays, and wear on your car.
  • How valuable is your time, and can you make the road trip part of your trip?

If you are traveling alone, it might make more sense to fly because you only have to pay for one plane ticket. This is particularly true if you don’t need to rent a car when you get where you are going. However, if you are traveling with an entire family, the equation changes.

In this case, balancing four air line tickets vs. a night in a hotel will be very different. It costs a lot more to buy 4 air line tickets than one, but it does not always cost much more to put 4 people in an affordable motel than 1 person. If meals are a consideration, you could always pack some snacks and lunches in the car, so you won’t have to buy a lot of expensive meals on the road.

However, if you need to have a car in your destination city, rental car costs could be a big factor. Renting a car for a week might cost as much or more as an extra airline ticket, and it will certainly cost more than a night in an affordable motel or hotel.

Plane vs. Car Trips

The right answer depends upon your particular situation. Go ahead and estimate the cost of traveling by car or by plane. Also consider the fact that it might take an extra day to arrive at your destination by car. Of course, you might make the road trip part of the fun by stopping at interesting places along the way.