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Jayson Goetz

Jayson is a strong believer that you don't have to be wealthy to live a rich and full life and wants to share tips on how to do exactly this. Whether...

Road Trip Across the Dakotas

The Dakotas are one of the most beautiful landscapes in the continental United States, and fortunately, you have made the excellent decision to travel through them and not over them. Rather than getting a flyover glimpse, you’ll be in the thick of the Dakotas’ rolling hills and prairies.

But while the landscape may seem peaceful and serene, that can change quickly, so you’ll need to be prepared. Take a look at these tips on having a safe and fun road trip through North and South Dakota.

 

 

Car

Before you go anywhere, you’re going to need to pick out a vehicle that really suits the trip. The Dakotas aren’t famed for their pristinely paved roads and highways, so it’s ideal you get a vehicle with all-wheel drive, just in case.

Depending on the number of passengers, you might want to skip the compact car and  settle on a mid-size  or SUV, but it’s important you have enough space for everyone to sit comfortably and keep ample supplies, like a tire changing kit, first aid kit, and other emergency supplies. A comfortable truck like the Honda Ridgeline  is a good example of a rough road ready vehicle with extra space, although similar cars will get the job done. Just be mindful that your larger, more spacious vehicles are inevitably going to be more expensive in gas mileage.

 

 

Prepare

Prepare for your road trip to the best of your ability! Any road trip should probably take these steps, but the Dakotas are particularly notable for being hotspots for quick-moving storms year-round.

Before you hit the road, make sure all of your tires are in good condition with a significant amount of tread on them. Wet (or icy, depending on the season) roads are particularly dangerous far out from towns, so your best bet is to be in top condition before you encounter it.

Likewise, replace your windshield wipers before you go. Downpours aren’t easy with the best wipers, and old worn ones only make the situation worse. Lastly, go over all of your lights: this includes both your normal headlights and high beams, along with your break lights and blinkers. Low visibility is a high-risk situation, so you want to make sure you’re able to see as best you can and other drivers can see you.

 

 

Driving

When severe weather hits you on the road, you’ll have to adjust your driving practices in your rental car. if you were cruising at a steady pace, slow down immediately. Wet roads can cause your tires to lose traction quickly with no time to correct. Do this even on a highway; your safety is more important that getting there quickly.

Also turn your headlights on, even if it’s still daytime and visibility hasn’t been greatly affected. In the event visibility takes a turn, you don’t have to remember the switch. Get rid of distractions if you have to and focus on the road. This may mean turning off your music or other audio to keep yourself focused on the road.

 

 

Entertainment

Entertainment is key for any road trip, even those across beautiful landscapes like the Dakotas. You can only be enthralled by the rolling hills for so long, so it’s ideal you and your fellow road trippers plan ahead.

A good way to handle this is through podcasts and audio books, especially if you’re the current or designated driver. Make sure to pre-download several of them before leaving, so you can avoid spotty cell service cutting off your audio. Also, try to download more than you think you’ll need. It’s easy to underestimate how many chapters or episodes you’ll burn through, or you may get bored with your current book or podcast and want to move on to something else. This way you’re guaranteeing you’ll have something present in the car with you at all times.

 

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