For people who love road trips, sometimes the call hits you and you just can’t refuse. You know it’s time, and you’ve got to gas up and get out on the highway to find an adventure. Impromptu road trips can be exhilarating, and can lead you to discover places and people that you might never have found in a million carefully-planned trips. However, you shouldn’t let the romantic appeal of a spur of the moment road trip stop you from putting the brakes on just a little bit to make sure you’ve done enough planning and preparation to make sure you have a safe and comfortable trip. Unexpected problems can turn a blissful journey on the open road into a nightmare of confusion and logistical hassles, but taking just a few steps before you leave to make sure you’re covered in the event of a mishap can go a long way towards ensuring that nothing ruins your trip. Here’s a checklist that can help make sure your next road trip goes off without a hitch.
- Get Your Mechanic’s Blessing
Before you head out on a road trip, you should make sure your car has been inspected and serviced recently. If you don’t have one already, the days before a road trip can be a good time to find a repair shop you can trust. Make sure your engine components are in good working order, your tires are properly inflated and not too worn, and that your fluid levels are topped off.
- Have Some Cavalry To Call In
Even a well-maintained car can blow a tire or lose a windshield to a flying pebble, so look into roadside assistance options from your insurance company or an auto club like AAA. Knowing you can call a reliable company that can help you deal with local towing services and mechanics can make accidents or breakdowns during your trip feel a lot less catastrophic.
- Clean Out Your Car
Maybe this is the least enjoyable part of preparing for a road trip, but starting out with an empty cabin, room in your trunk, and a clean environment can make the trip a lot more comfortable and pleasant for the driver and passengers.
- Maps Are Your Friends
Part of the fun of road trips is taking the back streets and exploring whatever looks interesting, but when you head off course, check your map and make sure you know how to get back to civilization easily, and see if you can locate any alternate routes that might come in handy. Wandering is good, just don’t get lost!
- Happy Passengers, Happy Trip
It’s axiomatic that the driver calls the shots while they’re behind the wheel, but don’t forget to make sure your passengers are comfortable. Snacks, water, entertainment, and room to sit comfortably are all important, especially for younger passengers. Don’t be afraid to pull over for breaks for anyone who needs one; the time you save by pushing through discomfort to drive a little further won’t count for much if everybody ends up cramped and miserable. Make sure everybody in the car is having a nice time and you’ll come back from your next road trip with lots of great memories.