Preparing for A Honeymoon Road Trip
1. Your Car. What vehicle will you take on your trip? If it's one you already own or plan to borrow, take it in for a mechanic's once-over. Have the brakes and tire pressure checked and the oil changed. Let the mechanic know if you're hearing any odd noises, detecting any odd smells, or noticing any other problems. If the windshield wipers or the tire treads are worn, replace them. Leave confident that everything is in working order.
Planning to rent a car? Know that some rental agencies will only provide cars to drivers over 25. And decide what type of car you want. Typically you'll have to trade comfort for gas mileage, as smaller cars tend to get more miles per gallon. If you're planning on a longer trip, don't choose an economy model. If you're planning to do some camping out, you may find that a van is ideal for couples hauling a lot of gear.
2. Your Itinerary. How much time do you have to spend on your honeymoon, and how far do you want to travel? Although you can drive hundreds of miles in a day, do you want to do that every day? Build in time to explore the places where you want to stop and take advantage of serendipitous moments. Estimate how many miles you want to travel and divide it by the number of days you have to spend to see if a realistic picture emerges.
For couples who only have a long weekend to celebrate their honeymoon, choose a destination about two hours from home. That way you won't spend all your time in the car. If you live in a major city, see ideas for weekend getaways.
3. Your Directions. The calm of many a road trip has been shattered by a conflict over directions. So know where you're going before you leave home. Consider getting a free AAA Triptik, renting or buying a GPS device (compare rates online), or downloading an app. Having Google Maps on your smartphone will also help you to get there.
4. Your Accommodations. Where will you stay at the end of each day? While there's something to be said for stopping whenever and wherever you feel like, you then have to deal with the available lodging. And if you'd rather not stay overnight in a sketchy motel or a place filled with screaming kids, it's advisable to do so ahead of time; even calling for reservations a few hours before you arrive can make a difference.
5. Your Entertainment. Driving, especially for long hours, can get tiresome. And if you're outside major cities, you may not find it easy to locate radio stations that you like. A cheap iPod car adaptor (compare rates online) plugged into the car's cigarette lighter lets you play your music and podcasts through the car speakers and charges the device while it's connected. We prefer to listen to audiobooks on a long drive; Tantor Audio has a wide selection of CDs and books delivered as MP3s to make the miles fly by.
6. Your Memories. Pack some stamps. At every stop along the way, send a postcard to your home address with some details of your visit and how you were feeling on your honeymoon road trip. They're remembrances that you'll treasure for years to come.