If you are heading out on a road trip this summer then you need to make sure that you have prepared right, in order to ensure that the trip runs smoothly. It is advisable to get started with your prep around a week before your trip to give you enough time to sort out any issues which may arise.
A surefire way to ruin your road trip is to not be prepared. In not doing so, you could be leaving yourself open to car trouble, boredom, getting lost or ending up somewhere that you didn’t want to be. To make sure that you have the best road trip vacation possible, here are the things which you need to get sorted out before leaving.
The first thing that you need to make sure of is that your car is in perfect working order ahead of the trip. The last thing that anyone wants when they take a road trip is to break down on the way, and whilst you can never guarantee that this won’t happen, you can most certainly minimize the risk of it happening. Take your car to have a checkup with your dealership, so that the professionals can assess whether your car is in good working order. This is why you should start your prep a week or more ahead of the journey, in case you need repairs. When getting your car checked out, you must ensure that beyond the actual parts of the car, that items like tire wear, tire gauge and fluids are all topped up.
Just having your car checked out before you go will not be enough to avoid problems that may take place whilst you are on the road, so you will need to load the car up with some bits and pieces that can help you out of a jam. The first thing you must ensure is that you have a spare tire, you never know when you may get a flat, riding over a nail or some broken glass is all it takes to pop the tire. In addition, you need to have car mats to protect your vehicle’s floor from all of the dirt and mud you track in, the food and drinks you spill, and more.
Furthermore, you need to ensure that you have a first aid kit in the car with you, a sizable one if you are able. Once again, you never know what could happen and chances are that when someone gets their finger jammed in a door or has a roadside accident, you’ll be in the middle of nowhere and far from medical support. A well thought out first aid kit could be the most important thing in your vehicle. Finally, regarding fluids, be sure that you have some water and some windshield washer fluid in your car, in case you need to top up en route.
One of the most special aspects of a road trip is that you have absolute flexibility in terms of where you go and when, and you can alter your plans on a whim. With that being said, it is important that you have a loose plan in terms of where you will be heading, or at least have a destination in mind. Having a rough plan in terms of where you go makes sense so that you can plan where you will be stopping for the night, where you can refill gas, and where you can stop to eat during the trip. The plan doesn’t have to be concrete, but you must at least have an idea for where you will be traveling. Don’t solely rely on digital maps and routes, who knows when the battery will die or an electrical failure will mean that you lose your route? Be sure that you go a little bit old school in this regard, and take a paper map, this may come in very handy during your journey.
A road trip just wouldn’t be special without ensuring that you have sufficient entertainment in the car to keep everyone going on the journey. If you are taking kids with you then make sure that they have plenty of games and films or TV shows downloaded to their mobile devices, or toys and games to keep their spirits up. An absolute essential for any road trip is, of course, a great playlist, so spend some time in the days running up to the journey, thinking about what kind of music you want for the various parts of a road trip. You should look to have some uplifting music for when tiredness sets in, and some singalong stuff so that everyone in the car gets to sing out some tunes. A final note on keeping everyone entertained is to be sure that you have got something for people to play with during a stop. I never leave home without a frisbee and a football in the back of the car, and you’ll be surprised just how much these will come in handy during stops on your journey. To support your entertainment, don’t forget to pack whatever necessary chargers you will need so that you can keep all of your devices juiced up.
Make sure that at least one of your family and friends has your itinerary ahead of your trip and give them a call or a text when you arrive safely. This is especially important if you are going to be driving somewhat off the beaten path, and it is just a simple safety tip which ensures that should something happen, people are aware of it as soon as possible.
The most important thing about your road trip is to have fun, ensuring that you have done all your prep work in the days and weeks leading up to the big trip will absolutely ensure that this is the memorable trio that it should be. Don’t leave things to the last minute, get prepped and go have the time of your life.