There’s nothing quite like hitting the open road for a road trip. But before you rev up your engine and head out for your vacation, there are a few steps you should take to make sure that you and your vehicle are adequately prepared. Below, we’ve gathered some helpful tips to get you organized and ready to take on the roads.
1. Get your car organized
Before you leave, it’s important to properly clean your car. Throw away any trash in your car that’s been piling up. Inevitably, as you drive, you will add to the pile of trash and regret not doing a thorough cleanup before you left.
With that said, you should also prepare to properly dispose of trash as you drive. Grab some wet wipes and towels to wipe up spills. Invest in a small car trash can that you can dump out at gas stations and keep trash in one place.
2. Make sure your vehicle is inspected
A week or two before your road trip starts, take your vehicle to a mechanic. Your mechanic should inspect your brakes, tires, fluid levels, and determine if there’s anything else that should be fixed before you head off.
Other precautions you should take include making sure your spare tire is fully inflated and that you have jumper cables somewhere in your car.
If you find your car isn’t up to snuff before your trip, you may even want to consider looking into getting a different car. Consider used Audi cars in Las Vegas or pre-owned Toyotas in Boston – wherever you live, make sure you purchase from a reputable dealership.
3. Know what country roads are worth your time
Highways and freeways tend to be the fastest way to arrive from point A to point B but that doesn’t mean it’s the prettiest. Before you head out on your trip, spend some time looking into your route. Use a site or app like Roadtrippers, which will point to you the country roads that will offer you worthwhile points of interest and beautiful scenery.
With that said, don’t stay on country roads the entire time if you want to make real progress to your destination.
4. Consider downloading audiobooks and podcasts before you go
It’s very likely that if you’re heading out into the boonies, you may lose phone service and be hard-pressed to find good radio stations that aren’t just endless country songs about tractors and cows. To keep yourself and anyone else in the car entertained, it’s a good idea to download some interesting podcasts or books.
Some great podcasts you may want to check out include:
- RadioLab: A podcast that investigates a broad range of topics, always with an interesting point-of-view.
- Small Doses: Essays, life advice, comedy and pearls of wisdom delivered to you by Amanda Seales.
- Slow Burn: This interesting podcast showcases stories of history and pop cultures like the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.
- Pretend Radio: Real-life tales of people who pretend to be someone else. FBI agents, catfish, con artists, and more!
- Nice Try: Follow the story of the collective need of humanity to find the perfect utopia throughout history starting with the first episode of settling Jamestown.
5. Get real maps
Look, phones break, phones get lost, and sometimes, your navigation software might try to send you right into a lake. It’s important to have real maps with you so you can figure out where you’re going, the old-fashioned way, for those times when technology fails you.
6. Join AAA
Local tow services are a lifesaver on the road. If you break down, you don’t want to be completely stranded and out of luck. AAA is a great choice to protect yourself from the perils of the road. Here are a few of the member benefits:
- Roadside assistance
- Discounts for various attractions
- Travel planning help
- Restaurant discounts
- Special travel packages
- Hotel discounts
- Car rentals
Takeaways: The Road is Waiting
Planning a road trip can be a little intimidating. After all, there’s a lot of logistics to figure out. Especially if you have kids that need to be entertained. However, with the right kinds of activities, a route plan, and built-in flexibility, you can have a great road trip. You can’t completely guard against hiccups like flat tires but with the right preparation, you’ll be ready for anything. Happy driving!