Preparing for a Safe and Fun Road Trip: Three Must-Do Things

Flying has become so popular these days, but road trips remain the best way to see a vast and diverse country like the US. From funky roadside attractions to parks, the lure of the road is indisputable. A road trip takes you to places you’ve never been before, and getting there is only half the fun. A road trip is an incredible way to explore the country, spend time and bond with family and friends, and meet new people.

Preparing for a Safe and Fun Road Trip: Three Must-Do Things

A safe, fun, and stress-free road trip requires adequate preparation. With proper planning, a road trip can be the best experience ever, but it can turn out to be a nightmare if you fail to plan. Here are three must-do things for a safe and fun road trip.

1.    Plot a loose route.

Although a last-minute excursion can be fun, a successful road trip requires a lot of organization and planning. Know where you’re going. Have a sense of the main places you’re going to visit and a rough idea of the time you’ll be there. Check mileages – in the US, places can seem very close on the map, but in reality, they are thousands of miles apart. You can do it online. MapQuest and Google Maps are perfect tools. Remember also to check if there’s any road construction along the route you want to use.

Consider the amount of time you can spend driving in a day. Of course, you don’t want to set yourself for failure and exhaustion by driving for over 10 hours a day. That road trip wouldn’t be fun.

2.    Check your vehicle.

It doesn’t matter whether you just had your oil changed or you have new tires for the trip. Your car still needs to be inspected by a mechanic to ensure it’s in working order. It should be checked a week or a few days before you’re due to leave. Sometimes, there may be more issues with your car than you can imagine, and the mechanic may require more time to get it ready.

There are obvious problems, however, that you can eliminate without the help of a mechanic. These include tire pressure, fluid levels, wiper blades, lights, and check whether the tires need to be replaced or rotated. If there are any signs of an impending brake failure, you can have a mechanic check the brakes and rotors. Replace any part that needs to be replaced. You can order high-quality car parts that need replacing from https://shop.revologycars.com/collections/front-end-accessory-drive.

Also, ensure you have your spare tire on your car, and make sure it’s inflated, and that you have extra wiper fluid and jumper cables.

3.    Carry road trip essentials.

Road trips vary, and so do the things you need to carry. Depending on the details of your road trip, you may not require some of the essentials suggested below, but you’ll definitely need to pack most of them.

Sunglasses

Summer is the best time for a road trip, and sunglasses are essential. You don’t need to squint into the sun while driving. Sunglasses come top of the list because, for some reason, this is the one thing that people forget the most.

Driver’s license

It may not be a requirement in some countries, but you need to carry your driving license when you drive in the United States.

Sunscreen

You may not be relaxing in your backyard or at the beach, but if it’s during the summer, you can still get sunburned inside your car. The tan lines from a road trip won’t be attractive either. You wouldn’t want to go on a trip on a sunny day without sunscreen, would you?

Water/drinks

Carry enough water to keep you and your co-travelers energized and hydrated throughout the road trip. Of course, the problem with drinking too much water is that you’ll have to make several bathroom stops. Water should be okay, but you can carry whatever you like to drink.

Snacks

Snacks will help to keep your energy levels high. While you can buy snacks along the road, it would be cheaper to buy them in large quantities at your local grocery store.

An emergency kit

Your car should always have a basic first aid kit, but your emergency items should be more extensive when you’re going on a road trip. Even when it seems like your road trip is through civilized and busy areas, trouble happens, making several of the emergency items useful. Here are the basic items you should always have in your car:

  • Cell phone
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First-aid kit
  • Flares, hazard triangle, and flares
  • Jack and lug wrench
  • Jumper cables and a portable battery
  • Flashlight

For long road trips, consider adding the following items to the above basic items.

  • Motor oil
  • Radiation fluid
  • Non-perishable food
  • Blankets
  • Small folding shovel
  • Windshield scraper (especially during winter)
  • Chemical hand warmers
  • Reflective safety vest

Cooler

A cooler will keep any food that needs to be refrigerated and drinks cold. Get a cooler that you can plug into your lighter. This way, you don’t have to worry about ice melting.

Toilet paper

Carry some toilet paper just in case. You may encounter some toilets that are in bad condition or without toilets papers. Better safe than sorry!

Clothing

Be sure to check the weather forecast for the areas you intend to visit. It might be different from where you are, and you need to be prepared.

Air freshener

To keep things from getting stuffy, carry an air freshener.

End Note

Above everything else, the point of a road trip is to have fun. Play music, but remember to keep it soft. Otherwise, it will be a distraction. Carry a camera to document your trip. Take videos and photos to keep the memories alive.

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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