These days, it seems like people are more interested in how much they can do with their time as opposed to how they can spend quality time. This mindset, in addition to other factors, has led to an increase in stress levels and a decline in overall happiness.
One way in which research suggests that people can improve their overall happiness levels and decrease their stress is to live in the present. One way you can do that is to take a road trip.
Road trips, or travel in general, is the key to happiness that many Americans have been missing. According to countless studies, travel helps you find your confidence by forcing you to deal with unexpected situations, it allows you to get some “you” time, it provides for new memories, and it makes you appreciate family and home, to name just a few benefits.
If you’re ready to re-discover your happiness and live a more fulfilling life, plan a road trip. This guide provides a few smart tips to get you started.
Check Your Vehicle
Breaking down in the middle of the New Mexico desert is not going to reduce your stress levels any. If anything, it will send them through the roof. Before hitting the road, make sure that your vehicle is in tip-top shape.
Take it to your local mechanic for a thorough inspection and a tune-up, get the oil changed, and have your spare tire inflated. Don’t forget to pack jumper cables and other necessities, such as a car jack, extra wiper fluid, and common emergency items.
Buy Proper Car Insurance
Depending on to where you plan to travel, your current car insurance policy may not be sufficient. If you plan to travel to other states, you need to make sure that you meet the minimum liability insurance amount for the state with the highest amount.
If you plan on having another person drive your vehicle, make sure that additional drivers are covered through your policy or that he or she has his or her own policy.
Because you never know what to expect when on the road, it can’t hurt to invest in supplemental insurance as well, such as roadside assistance, collision coverage, personal injury protection, and under-insured/uninsured motorist coverage. Talk to an insurance agent near you for more info regarding road trip insurance.
Join a Roadside Rescue Service
No one plans to get lost, or to break down on the side of a Podunk country road that no one has ever heard of before, but it happens, especially when one is in unfamiliar territory.
While a AAA rep may not have a hard time locating your vehicle off the I-5 in California, he or she may be hard-pressed to locate Wilson Road in Clare County, MI. Store that 800-number that immediately connects you to the nearest certified tow services and mechanics. Doing so can save you a lot of hassle in the future, and from potential road-side dangers.
Have Your Documents and a Clean Record
If you get pulled over and you don’t have your current documentation readily available, you could be in a world of trouble, especially if you’re in a different state. Order your insurance cards well in advance of your start date, as well as your driver’s license if necessary.
Also, if you have any open traffic tickets or parking citations, pay those and make sure your record is clear before hitting the road. If you get pulled over with outstanding citations on your record, you may find yourself locked up rather than enjoying the freedom of the open road.
If you’re ready to regain your happiness via the open road, do so in a smart and safe manner. Use the above four tips to plan for fun and safe travels.