Here’s a checklist of things to do before a road trip
There’s nothing quite like a full tank of gas, the open road, and a world of possibilities. Road trips are a unique way to travel and are cost-effective and adventurous — how else can you see so much of the country and explore offbeat and unique places in one trip?
Whether you are driving your own car or renting a car or an RV, planning a great long-distance road trip takes planning and preparation. Here are a few things you should do before you hit the road:
Plan Your Route
As freeing as it may sound to hit the road and go wherever the wind takes you, planning your route can make a road trip much more enjoyable, especially if you’re travelling with family or small children. Start big by deciding how long you want your entire trip to last and what you want to be your final destination. Then fill in places to stop along the way by considering how long you want to be in the car each day and if there are any special attractions nearby. Many hotels offer lower rates if you book in advance, but making early reservations also locks you into sticking with your plan no matter what happens.
Consider also if you want to stay on main highways and interstates or if you want to take the more scenic route; check road closures and construction through local transportation websites for any potential delays. If your route takes you through or around large cities, consider the time of day you will be driving through, as getting stuck in rush-hour traffic could put a serious dent in your travel plans.
Prepare Your Car
Much of the comfort of your trip depends on the reliability of your car. Doing basic maintenance on your car before you leave on a road trip can help you avoid a major headache down the road. Check your tire pressure and the mileage on the car — depending on the weather and road conditions for the journey, you may need special high-performance or all-weather tires. If tire tread is good, rotating your tires before a long trip can help distribute wear evenly. Many parts of your car naturally wear down with use, so check your windshield wipers, battery, break pads, and shock absorbers and replace if they are on their last legs. Do an inspection of your car to make sure everything is working properly, including turn signals, lights, and brakes and that all fluids are at the proper level.
A clean car can also help passengers feel more comfortable during a long drive. Your car likely won’t stay clean, but a car wash and removing all the trash can start your trip on the right foot. If you don’t have time to do all of these, then it is advisable to book a car rental at VroomVroomVroom because you are assured of getting a reliable and affordable vehicle.
A road trip can put a lot of strain on your car, so avoid loading it to the brim unless absolutely necessary. Your trip will be safer and more enjoyable if the driver and passengers can actually see out the windows of the car. Start by making a list of all the essential items you’ll need, including toiletries, medicine, license and registration, and a navigation system. Some places along your route may even allow you to do laundry, which can greatly cut down on the amount of clothes you need to bring. You’ll also want to bring some entertainment options, like music, books, or movies. Some cars, like the new Toyota Highlander, offer built-in entertainment systems for extra comfort; if not, you may want to bring a portable DVD player.
You’ll also want to prepare an emergency kit in case anything goes wrong with your car or road conditions. Be sure to include a tire repair kit, flares, and extra fluid for the car, as well as first-aid supplies, warm clothes and blankets, flashlights, water, and non-perishable food.
A road trip can be the trip of a lifetime and lead to lasting memories. Plan ahead to make your trip the best it can be. Do you have other tips for those who are planning to go on a long-distance road trip?
VroomVroomVroom would like to thank Rick Delgado for this useful article.
About the author: I’ve been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet.