Road trips are some of the best adventures you can take as long as you’re prepared and don’t drive yourself crazy by worrying about the little things that inevitably happen on any long trip. That’s why we put together this list of 10 tips to make your road trip the best one yet, whether you’re traveling across town or across the country. The tips are presented in no particular order and all have been tested, so feel free to try them out on your next cross-country excursion or just because it’s Tuesday!
1) Check if your vehicle is road trip ready
Are you taking a road trip soon? Take these steps to make sure your vehicle is road trip ready.
-Jump in your car and start it up. If you hear any unusual sounds or smells, have the vehicle inspected before starting on your journey. -Inspect your tires for tread wear and overall condition – check for balance by pushing on each tire with your hands; if one side rocks up or down more than 1/4 inch, have it fixed or replaced before setting out.
2) Create a schedule
Most road trips follow a similar pattern. You stop at gas stations and McDonald’s, visit major tourist attractions, and stay at various hotels. These are the basics of any road trip and it can start to feel mundane very quickly. If you want your road trip to be epic, you have to shake things up a bit!
3) Create one playlist per state
- For Missouri, Easy Rider by The Byrds and Girl From The North Country by Bob Dylan
- For Oklahoma, Oklahoma’s Calling Me Home by Aaron Tippin
- For New Mexico, Cancioncita De Adios (Espanoa) by Taj Mahal
4) Pack Light
One of the most important steps in planning your trip is packing your bags. Every one of our product offerings has been built to make packing and storing easier, so it should be a breeze! We recommend starting with essentials like sunscreen, bug spray, and snacks. You can fill up on food at the next rest stop or gas station if needed. Next are clothes that can work for multiple days (think jeans or khakis). Finally you want to include things like first aid kit, map of where you’re going, book or magazine (maybe something by some of these great authors!), rain jacket just in case–you never know what might happen on the road!
5) Get a Google Map or Waze address before you leave
There are many people who do not realize that every map service has a built-in function for a trip planner. You will be able to enter your origin and destination, any planned stops, estimated driving time and get an accurate estimate of how long it will take you to reach your final destination. You can also get turn-by-turn directions, complete with voice prompts!
6) Don’t Forget to Stop and Smell the Roses
The perfect road trip is going to take a little bit of luck and skill. You don’t want your drive to be uneventful, so here are some suggestions that will help you take in as much as possible on your long drive.
7) Plan ahead
- Figure out your route
- Give your car an oil change and tire rotation beforehand
- Get a phone charger that will fit in your car (unless you’re able to charge while driving)
8) Bring snacks you can munch on along the way
The good old road trip is a popular tradition in America, but can be boring for your taste buds. Luckily, there are plenty of snacks you can pack that will help keep you from becoming hungry. Fresh fruit and vegetables make for healthy options, as do energy bars or nuts. Pack some protein-packed granola bars or trail mix so you can refuel at any time without resorting to gas station snacks. Soups and canned chili are great options if you don’t want anything too messy while driving; they’re also relatively cheap and easy to find.
9) If you have no interest in doing laundry during your trip, don’t over pack
One of the best parts about a road trip is that you can leave your heavy luggage at home and focus on only what matters: how much fun you will have. This means that you need to pack accordingly so that your trip will be as stress-free as possible. Consider what type of clothes you would wear, sleep in, and drive in during your trip and try not to bring more than this.
10) Leave early; give yourself extra time
It’s not uncommon for a person to wake up at five in the morning and drive six hours before they even get on the highway. It’s an easy way to give yourself some extra time, but can also leave you drained when you arrive. Wake up early, pack your bag, load your car and hit the road with plenty of time to spare.