Going on a road trip is a fun time. It’s nothing but you and the open road, with unknown adventures lying in front of you. Whether you’re driving across the entire United States or heading up for a weekend in Niagara Falls, when you look back on this time, you’ll want to know that you made the most of your trip. So with that in mind, here are a few tips for making the most of your road trip and turning it into a memory that will last forever.

Prepare Before You Go

First, it’s important that you do some preparation before you go. You can’t just walk outside one day, jump in your car, and drive. Instead, you need to plan some things out. For example, where are you going and what route will you take to get there? What’s the best way to go to avoid traffic?

You should also think about the health and safety of your car. Take your car to a trusted mechanic and have them inspect it to make sure it’s up for a long trip. You should also make sure that your car is protected by insurance. Or if you’re going to be driving an RV, you could look at online RV warranty reviews to give yourself even more protection.

The last way to prepare is by stocking up your car with important supplies. Have some drinks and food on hand in case you get hungry miles from the nearest rest stop. You should also have some basic medical supplies, and some stuff in case you get a flat tire or some other kind of mechanical issue. A flashlight, some basic tools, and a portable car jump starter are all good things to bring along.

Get Off the Beaten Trail

While it’s a good idea to follow a route on your way, don’t be afraid to stray a little bit. If you just stick to the highway all the time, you’ll miss out on a lot of great things. Look for some fun or different places you can stop along the way or take some lesser-known routes. If you see an interesting sign along the road, take some time to investigate before jumping back on the highway. Sometimes the best part of any road trip is the unexpected things you find, so don’t be afraid to go off the beaten trail.

Learn Some Photography Tips

After your trip, you’ll want something to look back on and help you remember it. Nowadays most of us have smartphones with cameras on them that can take great pictures. However, if you really want your pictures to stand out, you should learn some basic photography principles. Learn about how to compose a shot, how to adjust things like the aperture or shutter speed, and how to best edit your photos. This will help your photos become more than just a bunch of random pictures that you forget about – you’ll actually enjoy looking at them and remember fondly the time you spent taking them.

Start a Journal

Another great way to remember your trip is by keeping a journal. At the end of each day, or whenever you have a few spare minutes through the trip, jot down in a notebook what’s going on. Write down what you did that day, how you’re feeling, and anything memorable that happened. It’s impossible to remember every moment of your road trip later on, but your journal will help jog your memory for most of it. If you don’t want to write it down in a journal, consider using a notetaking app on your phone.

Create a Playlist

With a road trip, you’ll be spending a lot of time in your car. It can get tiresome staring at the road in front of you hour after hour, so you’ll need something to make the driving portions more exciting. Before you leave, create an awesome playlist for your phone. Stock it up full of music that you love, and even add in some songs that you’re not as familiar with.

Besides music, you can also load up your phone with podcasts and audiobooks. These are a great way to pass the time, and you can even learn something new, read that book you’ve always had on your to-do list, or hear some great stories along the way.

Stick to a Budget

Finally, when you get back home you don’t want to find that your bank account is empty. To really enjoy your road trip, you need to stay within a budget. Take some time before you go to map out exactly how much you can afford to spend. Then as you’re going through your trip, keep track of everything you’re spending. If you find you’re spending too much, you can start cutting back and finding other ways to save.