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Feeling the wanderlust this spring?

If you’re feeling like heading out the door, check your route. Knowing your initial travel plans can help you feel secure in your plans. You can check the weather, public health status, and be prepared for current conditions.

Are you feeling the urge to hit the open road? Are national parks and uncharted territories calling you? If you’ve been feeling like spring would never come, it is around the corner. 

More Americans are feeling the pull to travel by car. Traveling by car is a fantastic way to see the country, explore backroads, and share quality time with your loved ones. 

Here are the top tips for making the most of your urge to explore.

Check your route
If you’re feeling like heading out the door, check your route. Knowing your initial travel plans can help you feel secure in your plans. You can check the weather, public health status, and be prepared for current conditions. 

In addition, check for where you can fuel up—with gas or electric. If you’re driving an electric vehicle, identify the best places to stop to recharge. Of course, if you’re driving a Tesla, this will be easy—as there are over 800 electric vehicle charging stations across the United States. More than 130 million people in the US live within 10 miles of a fast-charging station. 

With your route outlined, check your supplies.

Pack your food
If you’re going to unfamiliar places, you may feel better having a little something to keep you personally fueled and refreshed. Take a selection of healthy snacks and beverages. For younger passengers, pack easy-to-grab goodies so everyone will stay in a good mood. 

Health experts recommend bringing a small cooler with healthy road-trip foods. Start with picking apples, bananas, carrots, dried fruit, low-fat yogurt, and nuts. 

By packing healthy snacks, you won’t be at the mercy of fast-food joints or convenience stores. 

Enjoy the journey
It’s often said that the best part of the journey is getting there. A road trip with loved ones is a great time to talk, share ideas, and explore new things together. 

Check with your family, friends, or travel partners to make sure you’ve got a good sense of priorities and passions. For instance, some people love to get up to see the sunrise. Others prefer to sleep in and stay up late to see the stars. 

For a fun and engaging road trip, make sure that you're flexible enough so everyone can have a great time. And, while you’re at it, stretch into some things that you don’t usually do. You may discover that you like getting up to see the sunrise – even if it’s something you’ve never tried before. 

Check-in with locals
Every area has local specialties that the average tourist might miss. That’s why it’s so valuable to check in with residents and ask for their best tips for their home area. 

For instance, if you’re traveling to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, explore the area around the park as well. Be sure to check out the Great Smoky arts and crafts community. This is a hidden gem just east of Gatlinburg, with small local shops and galleries. You can find potters, woodworking, candlemaking, specialty foods, and more —all hand-crafted by local artists.

In every area of the country, you can discover local specialties and activities. Make the extra effort to talk with residents, read reviews, and discover the hidden treasures of every area. 

Escape to the outdoors
In addition to enjoying scenic views and stunning vistas, take time to get into the outdoors. Check out the National Parks, walkways, and paths if you love hiking, walking, or running. 

If you’re more into the water, you’ll love the thrill of whitewater rafting, canoeing, or even swimming. Many areas offer outdoor facilities that have activities and sports which appeal to the entire family. 

Make a scrapbook
While it may seem a little old-fashioned, making a physical scrapbook is a terrific way to engage everyone in your travel tribe. Gather materials as you go—from brochures, receipts, photos, and postcards. Ask every member of your group to contribute something each day. 

To stay organized, you may want to prepare envelopes for gathering scrapbook materials. Put all the items into each envelope. When you get home, you’ll easily be able to create a timeline and put these mementos into a colorful collection. 

If you haven’t done this before, give it a go. 

Find your inspiration and enjoy your Wanderlust adventures.

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