7 Tips for Planning Your Next Big Road Trip

Imagine sitting behind the wheel with the view of the road snaking endlessly ahead as you drive through beautiful natural landscapes while listening to your favorite playlist. On the side, you’re surrounded by breathtaking scenery and can stop whenever you please to discover and explore hidden gems along the way.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers are increasingly opting for staycations and road trips. This trend is likely to continue in the post-pandemic era as more and more people look for domestic travel opportunities to minimize the risk of exposure.

Road trips allow you to absorb all the rich experiences of a destination, literally taking the wheel in your own adventure. It’s about personal freedom and having the absolute thrill of uncertainty. To ensure nothing goes wrong when you finally hit the road, take time to plan your next big road trip with these seven simple tips.

Get Your Vehicle Serviced Ahead of Time

A vacation is supposed to be a time for adventure, relaxation, and fun. However, nothing can put a damper on your road trip like having your vehicle break down and getting stranded hundreds of miles away from home. So, before you hit the road you want to make sure your car is in good condition and is up for the challenge.

All your planning and preparation for the road trip will be for nothing if you can’t rely on your vehicle. To make your road trip and vacation as smooth as possible, get a mechanic to service your vehicle ahead of time. Some of the basic maintenance tasks you must do include maintaining the exhaust system, examining the tires and alignment, changing oil and filter, and examining the braking system. Remember to perform general car maintenance as well. Lastly, you should look into an extended car warranty to ensure you’re fully covered during long road trips (click here to read the full article). 

Pack an Emergency Kit

A roadside emergency is always a possibility. Being prepared for the what-ifs can be the difference between a memorable trip with slight delays and a frustrating family vacation. Two important things can with roadside emergencies: a first aid kit and a basic car emergency kit.

The truth is that you really can’t tell when you or someone else might need a first aid kit, so it’s best to pack one. The kit should carry medical necessities such as hand sanitizer, antibiotics, bandages, gloves, tweezers, wound cleaner, sharp scissors, and a gauze.

A car emergency kit can help with minor repairs on the road. Some of the basic items to carry include a fire extinguisher, warning light, flares, hazard triangle, jumper cables, jack and lug wrench, plug kit, portable compressor, duct tape, etc. 

Keep an Emergency Contact Card in the Vehicle

Of course, you need to bring a cell phone and charger with you on the road trip. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time on the road without your phone. Should you find yourself in an emergency situation, your phone can help you reach out to emergency response teams in the area.

It’s also important that you have an emergency card in your car, with your name, gender, age, emergency contact, and any other critical care information. This information can help keep you safe in case you’re involved in an accident during the trip. 

Keep a Road Atlas or Paper Map

It’s not uncommon to lose cell service while road tripping. Some routes may have a weak signal, making it almost impossible to load your map app. Therefore, it’s important that you pack a fold-out paper map or road atlas for your route. A paper map makes it easy to mark out your preferred route and can tell you how close or far you are to your destination. 

Plan En Route Entertainment

If you’re going on a long road trip, the reality is that conversation alone won’t cut it out for a five-plus hour drive. Chances are you’ll need a bit of entertainment while behind the wheel. Listening to an audiobook or a podcast can be a great way to gain insights and learn about interesting topics when on the road. Other entertainment options include music, movies, TV shows, activity bags, and road trip car games. 

Reserve Accommodations Ahead

Whether you’re traveling alone, with family, or friends, it’s always useful to research the destination you’re visiting and know where you’ll be staying. If you’re planning to visit popular attractions, make sure you reserve accommodations a few days ahead of your road trip. Keep in mind many accommodations and prime campsites can book up quickly in the summer months. You want to have peace of mind even as you cruise on the road. 

Keep Healthy Snacks at the Ready

The last thing you want is having your family consuming unhealthy food during the trip. You also don’t want to make unnecessary stops on the road because they are hungry every other minute. It’s important that you explore local cuisine and support small businesses. However, for all the time you’re on the road, pack some healthy snacks for everyone on board. This will help you cut down on costs and save time.