Going on a road trip is something that everyone needs to experience at least once in their life. No matter if you’re making a cross-continent ride or just doing some exploration of your local sites, a road trip is the best way to have a fun, relaxing and cheap adventure. However, no matter how spontaneous you like to be, you can’t just jump in the car and take off. Here are a few things to do during your road trip preparation phase so you can have the safest and smoothest trip:
Create a rough itinerary
The beauty of road trips is the freedom to stop, embark or take turns whenever and wherever you want. However, having a rough itinerary is a great way to have a successful adventure without too much stress. Consult with your travel companions, study the destinations you want to visit and investigate any interesting spots along the way. You don’t have to stick to your plan 100%, but having a rough plan can keep you accountable when you need to make it to your check-ins, bookings and accommodation in time.
Share your plans
For your safety, make sure to give your itinerary to your family staying at home or your trusted buddies. In case you get lost or stop contact with the world, your friends and family can provide the authorities with your travel plans so people know where to look for you. There’s obviously just a tiny possibility something remotely bad will happen on your trip, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Clean your car inside and outside
If you want to boost comfort as well as safety on the road, your car needs to be nice and clean. Start from the inside by taking out all the trash. Next, vacuum the floors and seats to remove any crumbs that might attract ants. This will also remove any dust or pet hair, making your trip much more comfortable. Once the inside is clean, take the rag to your car’s exterior. Wash with water and soap to remove dirt, dust, insects and bird poo and let dry. If there are any water stains, use a practical water spot remover that will make your car spotless and shiny. When your car’s exterior is nice and clean, you’ll be much more visible on the road, thus having a safer trip. Plus, those road trip shots with your buddies and your car will be Instagram-ready at all times!
Get your car checked
It’s not enough for your car to be clean—it also needs to be in perfect running condition. You definitely don’t want to end up in the middle of nowhere with a blown fuse or a broken drive belt. To prevent getting stranded, take your car to an experienced mechanic to have it checked out. This is also the perfect chance to check fluids, change oil, put on new wipers, and replace flickering lights.
Pack drinks and snacks
When driving, most passengers get bored and very snackish. To prevent any meltdowns, especially when traveling with young kids, make sure to pack plenty of fun snacks and drinks. The best choices are some fresh veggies and fruits with tasty dips, but you can also go with a regular party mix and sodas. Just watch your hydration levels—too many drinks will cause frequent stops and long searches for the toilet. It’s also great to have food and water with you in case your car stops and you’re stuck somewhere without access to a gas station or restaurant.
When packing for your trip, make sure to focus on comfortable clothing items. Road trips involve a lot of sitting, so overly tight clothes and belts can dig into your tummy and thighs and cause a lot of discomforts. Also, make sure to dress in layers so you can quickly put on a layer when making a stop and take it off when you return to your car.
Don’t forget the entertainment
You can’t pretend you’re in a music video for your entire road trip—you’re going to need some more entertainment options to keep your passengers content. Make sure to put plenty of music on your phone and charge your devices. If you have an iPad, put a movie or two on there so you can stay entertained during those night rides and long stretches of highways. Packing cards and arming yourself with car games is a great way to pass the time as well.
If you prepare like this, your road trip will be a 100% success story. You’ll not only be safe on the road at all times but also come back home with plenty of amazing memories and photos.