Hitting the highway with nothing more than a loose plan and a spirit of adventure backing you up can be a great way to see beautiful, scenic parts of this country you might never otherwise experience, giving you memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime. However, a road trip that runs into problems isn’t anything you want to be stuck dealing with when you’re miles away from home and trying to enjoy a nice vacation. A little forethought and preparation can go a long way when it comes to making sure you have a safe and enjoyable road trip, so check out these tips to make sure your road trip is one that will be full of great experiences and good memories.
1. Take it to the shop
Before setting off, take your car to a mechanic to get the oil changed and tires checked. You want to make sure your car has a clean bill of health before you hit the road so you won’t get sidelined by unanticipated mechanical problems.
2. Have assistance at the ready
That said, even a car in perfect shape can pop a tire or have other unexpected mechanical issues, so look into getting roadside assistance coverage from your insurance company or an auto club if you can. That way, if you need a flat tire replaced or a tow to the shop when you’re miles away from home in an unfamiliar place, you won’t have to worry about figuring out which local services to deal with.
3. Start clean
Clean all the junk out of your car and empty the trunk of any inessential items you’ve been hauling around before you start your road trip. You’ll have more room for luggage and anything you happen to pick up on your travels, and you’ll have a cleaner, more pleasant environment in your car for the long drives ahead.
4. Take care of your passengers
Water, snacks, and fully loaded music players can help make the ride more enjoyable for anyone in the car, but if you’ve got children along for the trip, make sure they’ve got plenty to keep them entertained and occupied and that they can access the things they need without the driver having to reach things for them and lose focus on the road. If you’re traveling with babies or toddlers, make extra certain their car seats are properly installed before starting your trip.
5. Plan your alternate routes
Hitting the back roads and seeing places you wouldn’t see if you were just blasting through the states on a major highway is a big reason why road trips can be so memorable, but make sure you look ahead to find where and how you can get back to civilization if you run into any problems.
Wherever you’re headed, take a little time to plan, prep, and head off problems and you can have a great road trip that will leave you eager to hit the highway again as soon as you can.