Long road trips can be the lead-up to a fun vacation or a move across the country. While a long trip can be fun, it does require thoughtful planning so everything goes as planned. Here's how you can plan for your road trip so you can enjoy yourself!
How to Prepare for a Long Road Trip
There are ways you can prepare yourself for your trip like making sure your car is ready to go, getting plenty of rest, and packing an assortment of snacks. Whether you're on a long road trip for fun or for work, these tips can help you make it to your destination safely.
1. Prepare Your Vehicle
One of the first things you should do before leaving for a road trip is to make sure your vehicle is up to date on all of its maintenance. Depending on how long your road trip is, you may go over the mileage for your next oil change. If that's going to be the case, start your trip out with a fresh oil change. You should also check all of your fluids, like windshield wiper fluid, engine coolant, and brake fluid. Don't forget to check your tire tread and wiper blades as well.
2. Plan Out Your Route
While you know where your final destination is, you can get there in a multitude of ways. Longer road trips offer the chance to see more sights on the way that you normally wouldn't see. Make a stop at a National Park or museum for a fun way to break up your drive.
You can also plan around avoiding high traffic areas around cities at certain times of the day. Just don't try to pack too much into one day of the trip and wear yourself out for the rest of the drive. If you are planning a budget-friendly road trip, map out the gas stations and hotels that have rewards points for extra savings.
3. Pack Everything You Need
Load your vehicle up with everything you need for the trip, and you'll save yourself from making unnecessary stops. Try making a list ahead of time, so you aren't scrambling at the last minute to remember everything that you need. Make sure you have a vehicle maintenance kit, plenty of snacks, and entertainment. If you plan on using your phone for all of your entertainment, be sure to download your audiobooks, music, or podcasts ahead of time in case you hit a service dead zone.
4. Get Plenty of Rest
The night before you leave for your road trip, get eight hours of sleep if possible, even if that means going to bed really early. Take frequent stops so you can take a break to stay alert. If you have multiple people in the car, switch drivers every couple of hours, or when any signs of drowsiness occur. Don't drive while drowsy, especially if you are driving alone.
5. Prepare for Inclement Weather
One thing you should always be aware of is the weather on your road trip route, especially depending on the season. Pay attention to a national weather report to monitor the areas you'll be driving through for any severe storms like blizzards, thunderstorms, and even tornados that could delay your trip. You may have to take an unplanned day off due to road conditions, especially in the winter, if the roads are undrivable.
Be Safe on Your Long Road Trip
Follow these tips, and not only will you have fun on your road trip, but you'll complete your journey in one piece. To learn additional ways to drive safely on your road trip, sign up for a driving course on DriversEd.com. You'll learn about all of the rules of the road and potentially earn an insurance discount while doing so.