7 Considerations to Have When Taking a Road Trip

Taking your family on a long road trip can be an exciting adventure for everyone, but that adventure shouldn’t involve getting stranded in the middle of nowhere. You can avoid that possibility by ensuring you’re prepared for driving a long distance with your loved ones. Packing the right supplies and updating your vehicle are just a few ways you can prepare for a trip on America’s highways so everyone enjoys the trip.

Prepare Your Vehicle

The first thing you should do to prepare for a road trip is to ensure your vehicle is in its best possible condition. This should start with an inspection performed by your mechanic. Be sure to let him know that you plan to take the vehicle for a long drive. This will ensure he understands the importance of checking out the vehicle’s brakes, suspension, engine, and various other systems. You should also check to make sure the headlights, windshield wipers, and tires are all in good condition. Be sure to top off the engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and steering fluid if more is needed. Don’t forget to check the quality of your spare tire or donut before you hit the road.

prepare for a road trip

Pack Emergency Supplies

Before you start filling the trunk or cargo space with suitcases, be sure you load up on emergency supplies. This should include a small toolset, jumper cables, a working flashlight, road flares, and a good car jack. You should add a well-stocked first aid kit along with blankets, over-the-counter pain relievers, disinfectant spray, sunscreen, and any prescription medication your family members may need. It can be helpful to add a paper atlas or map of the region in case you get caught in an area that doesn’t provide cell phone service.

Plan Out Your Overnight Stops

It’s important to map out your route in advance to pinpoint any gas stations or auto repair shops along your route. Checking gas prices can help you plan out the best places to stop. If you’re driving a great distance, you should also plan where you’ll stay overnight. Be sure to check hotel and motel rates. If you have camping gear, an alternative is to look for a New York State parks camping site where you can camp for free or for a low cost.

Pack a Cooler

On a long road trip, sticking to a budget and saving on spending becomes especially important. If something unexpected does happen on the trip, you’ll want as much disposable cash as possible to help you get back on the road. To save on dining, pack a cooler with bottled water, sliced lunch meat and cheeses, fruit cups, and other snacks. You can also pack a duffel bag with dried goods, such as bread and rolls, crackers, cookies, and fresh fruit or veggies. Keeping enough food available for lunches and snacks can help you save on restaurant dining.

Don’t Forget the Entertainment

One final consideration in preparing for your road trip is to ensure there’s enough entertainment for the whole family. While your kids might enjoy watching movies or TV shows to start, that will get boring after some time. You should also pack games, books, and other types of entertainment that can be enjoyed in the car. If there isn’t another adult to entertain you as you drive, download a few podcasts to listen to as you drive. You should also create an upbeat playlist to help you stay alert as you navigate long stretches of highway. Keeping your mind active will prevent you from getting drowsy on the road.

Double Check Your Reservations

Before leaving on your trip, call ahead to confirm your reservations with any hotels, campgrounds, or any other accommodations you plan to use. It’s rare for reservations to get lost, but it does happen from time to time. You should also check the weather once more. Although you probably confirmed that you’d have fair weather on your trip, weather patterns may have changed. Be prepared for unexpected storms on your journey to help everyone stay safer and healthier.

Leave Your Itinerary With a Friend

While most road trips are completed without any problems, you’ll want to be prepared for an unusual emergency. If something prevents you from making it to your hotel or back home, you’ll want to ensure someone will be looking for you. Ask a trustworthy friend to look out for you, and provide that friend with a map and a detailed description of your travel plans. This will help them know which authorities to contact if you become unreachable by phone. Your friend can ensure the right police departments will be looking for you in the unlikely event that something unfortunate does happen on the road.

Before you do hit the road, you should double-check your list of supplies to ensure everything has been packed. A quick inspection of your vehicle can also help. A little diligence in preparing for the trip will help you enjoy a better time in getting to your destination. This will ensure every moment you spend on the road becomes a pleasant memory.

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