Spring Break Road Trip Pro Tips

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It’s finally time for spring break! If you’re looking to spend the beginning of March on the open road, then follow this guide.

Meet with your Spring Break Crew

Schedule a time for everyone to get together and talk more seriously about the trip. You need to clarify a few things before you can really start planning. Where do you want to go? How many hours are you willing to drive in one day? Do you want to spend time outdoors and sleep under the stars, or spend time on the town and book cute rooms in hotels or Airbnbs? Once you make the big decisions about the trip, you can move on to the finer details.

Start a Google Map

If you have a destination in mind, using Google Maps to look at your route can help you visualize your trip. Google Maps also allows you to create a custom map so that you can save routes and locations, label them and share the map with your friends. You can also download your map so that you don’t need WiFi to access it — an essential for driving through dead zones.

Prep Your Vehicle

It goes without saying that if you’re worried your car might not make it five miles to the grocery store, it’s not the right car to drive 1,000 miles southwest. Take some time to prepare it for the long journey ahead. Change your oil, check the air in your tires, make sure all your lights are functional, etc. If you have a really handy friend (or a really handy parent) have them take a look at it. You can’t prevent every disaster on the road, but these simple checks can help prevent a few.

Plan Your Tentative Budget

Road trips aren’t cheap, but with some extra planning even the tightest budgets can afford them. Once you decide how much you want to spend on where you’re sleeping, it’s time to estimate gas, food and souvenirs. Use GasBuddy, a mobile app and website, to look at gas prices across the nation. When it comes to food, make sure you pack some snacks to save money on the road.

Plan Your Music Strategy

Even if you can listen to NPR for hours, you’re going to drive through places with terrible radio reception. There’s a few alternatives to radio: Buy XM radio, buy your favorite albums on CDs, buy blank CDs to burn your own mixes, or create a collaborative playlist using Spotify to play music through the AUX input. Not only is the latter free, it gives everyone a chance to play their style of music. You can also test your knowledge of your friends’ music tastes by playing a game where everyone guesses who added the song, which helps to pass the time.

The freedom of driving anywhere you want with your friends makes the open road the ideal spring break for college students. If you stay organized, make a solid plan, and a solid backup plan, and stay adaptable — this will be easily the trip of a lifetime. Good luck and have fun!

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