Make your road trip easier
Being well prepared before your trip will make things a lot easier when you’re on your way. There’s a lot you can do to prevent difficulties, disappointment, stress and worry on the road – and to just make everything much more comfortable. We’ve put together a few suggestions of what to keep in mind before and during your road trip, hopefully to make it more enjoyable.
Thorough planning will let you keep your peace of mind while on the move
Get a GPS – even though getting around in Sweden is quite simple, a GPS will really let you concentrate on more interesting things than figuring out directions. If you’re instead using maps in your phone or laptop, try to get them downloaded. Internet connection might not always be available in remote areas and data roaming can get quite expensive.
Make an itinerary but don’t plan everything in detail. Make reservations for sights and places that you really don’t want to miss, but try not to have something booked every single day. Leave plenty of time for spontaneity as you never know what you will find along the way. Whether it’s good or bad, a too tight schedule will leave very little time for the unexpected.
Don’t plan too long drives between stops if you can’t take turns driving. Unforeseen events can cause a trip to take longer time than planned, and it’s not always fun being forced to drive for hours just to reach a destination. Weather, road work, heavy traffic, car trouble and other mishaps may always cause unplanned delays.
Check your insurance situation. Figure out what you’re already covered for and consider getting a supplementary travel insurance for the time you’re away. It’s a simple way to limit the risk of unexpected costs, but make sure you really need it before you buy it – often times you’re regular insurance or credit card insurance will already have you covered.
Print or write down important information. Don’t rely on your electronics and internet connection to access important contacts and booking information. You may find it unavailable when you need it the most. Bring contact information for those optional stops as well, just in case you want to make a last-minute reservation.
Make sure your vehicle is in good condition, especially if you’re driving during the winter. Having car trouble in the middle of nowhere is the last thing you want, but there are a lot of precautions that can significantly limit the risk. Having your car properly serviced before a longer trip is a good idea, but it can get quite expensive. If you’re renting a car, find out more information here.
Here’s a few things that you can easily check yourself before departure:
- Check the levels of oil, antifreeze and brake fluid
- Check the tread pattern depth and air pressure of your tires. Also make sure they’re properly attached
- Look for rust and oil/fluid leakage under your car
- Consider replacing the wiper blades if they’re old and dry
- Test the shock absorbers by rocking your car – when you stop the car should stop immediately
- Test the electronics, lights, turn signals and AC
- Get a spare key
Travel apps for your phone or tablet can make things a lot easier in a foreign country. There are some great apps nowadays that can help you with almost anything: directions, traffic information, weather, currency exchange rates, finding fueling stations, lodging, food and much, much more. Here’s a list of 10 great apps that will make all your travels easier.
Don’t forget your passport, driver’s license, ID-card, credit card, important contacts and insurance information.
What else to bring on a road trip?
In addition to all you documentation and vital accessories, there are plenty of less critical things that will make your trip more enjoyable. Here are just a few suggestions:
Water and food
Car charger for phones, laptops and other electronics; this dual USB car charger is a good option.
A pocket knife or multi-purpose tool
HandiRack, a very smart portable roof rack for your car
Great music. If you’re renting a car, check what options are available (CD, AUX, Bluetooth etc.)
Duct tape, will fix almost anything
Alcohol gel/rub or other hand sanitizer
Plastic forks, knives, cups and plates
Camping stove or even a portable grill
Pillows and blankets
Take plenty of breaks! Rest, have a snack or just stretch your legs to stay comfortable.
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