Graphic of a car going on a road trip

How to Get Ready for a Summer Road Trip

Tips for Road-Tripping During the Summer

Are you excited to go on a road trip this summer? Before you take your journey with your friends or family members, you’ll want to make sure it goes smoothly by prepping and planning for your trip. Here are a few tips for road-tripping during the summer.

Check that Your Vehicle is Healthy and Ready to Drive for Hours

How does your vehicle perform mechanically? To avoid having to change plans and experience a headache later, make sure that your car can reliably get everyone to your destination and back home. That means getting any required maintenance tasks taken care of before you hit the road, such as filling up your gas tank, getting your oil changed, your tires replaced, and your coolant topped off. If your car needs a checkup, visit your local mechanic several days before your road trip. Also, make sure that your car can carry everyone and everything you plan on bringing comfortably.

Car driving with a happy passengers hand out of the window

Pack Your Essentials and Other Belongings

Is your vehicle ready to go? It’s time to pack your essentials and other belongings. Here’s a list of things you should always have with you in the car:

  • Phone and phone charger
  • Driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance policy, and owner’s manual
  • Tool kit (jumper cables, car jack, wrenches, etc.)
  • Spare tire
  • First aid kit
  • Map or GPS
  • Flashlight
  • Extra sets of clothing
  • Nonperishable high-energy foods (like dried fruit or nuts) and bottled water
  • Spare cash

[ READ MORE: List of Items You Should Keep in Your Emergency Kit ]

In addition to the list above, you’ll want to bring other items to make the drive more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone. Some examples to consider are:

  • Pillows and blankets
  • Cooler for snacks and drinks
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer and small garbage bin
  • Camera
  • Windshield cover and window shades
  • Music playlist
Graphic of a family driving in a red car

Prepare your List of Games for the Kids

Now that you’re fully packed, you’re ready to go, right? Not quite. If you have kids, you need to prepare your list of games to keep them occupied throughout the trip. If you like to play games as a family, consider options like the License Plate Game or Alphabet Game. Want the cabin to be quieter? Bring along some paper, pencils, and clipboard to draw, a tablet to watch videos, and some of their favorite toys.

Set a Plan

Finally, you should have a set plan with what you would like to see and do. Set reservations ahead of time and make sure to give yourself adequate time for driving and breaks between your activities. Also, give yourself extra time before any time-sensitive events in case you get stuck in bad traffic or make a wrong turn.

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