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There’s nothing like a good road trip. No need to worry about taking a certain amount of liquids, airplane delays, or strangers violating your personal space during your flight. The best part about car travel is the freedom to make stops whenever and wherever you want, to be able to pack your own food and drinks, and wear your pajamas without being judged.
There are, however, still several steps that you need to take prior to your road trip.
Follow these 11 tips to ensure your trip is a safe and successful one:
1. Maintenance Check. Before any long road trip, you should get your car checked out (if you plan on taking your own vehicle). Have your vehicle’s oil changed, tires checked (they will add air if needed), and car battery checked (needs to be replaced very 2-3 years in hotter climates). There is nothing worst than having car trouble when you are en route to start your vacation.
2. Download the Waze App. If you do not have Waze, you truly are missing out. Waze is comprised of other travelers on the road that are able to add alerts for everyone to view. It tells you the quickest route based on traffic, accidents and construction alerts. In addition to time efficiencies, it will also tell you if there’s an object in the road (we’ve all served to avoid a tractor trailer blown tire before), pot holes, vehicles stopped on the shoulder, and police. It’s even good for around town – Go download it from the App Store ASAP. The added bonus is that it will also tell you where to stop for the cheapest gas along your route (or even a Starbucks).
3. A Good Podcast. Reading in a car tends to cause motion sickness for travelers so we never bring magazines or books for entertainment. In order to pass the time, we’ll research and download a few podcasts prior to our trip. We have listened to Survival, Black Out, The Bella’s Podcast, and Root of Evil.
4. Cooler. We make our own sandwiches and snacks the night before our trip. In the morning, we’ll throw it into our cooler with a few frozen water bottles and a bag of ice to keep it really cold. Make sure you pack your cooler within reach so it’s easy to get to while in the car.
5. Reusable Water Bottle. Having a water bottle filled with ice that you can reuse on the road is essential for us. It keeps it nice and cold while traveling. Try this Water Bottle.
6. Road Trip Playlist. Planning for your road trip includes a road worthy playlist! If you just don’t have the time to come up with your own, Spotify has quite a few to chose from.
7. Emergency Items. We never think of emergency items when we are preparing for a road trip. Check that your spare tire is in good condition, pack a few flashlights, and a road side kit with flares, tire repair kit, and jumper cables. It’s better safe to have them and not use them, then not have them and need them. Click the picture for an inexpensive option.
8. Phone & Tablet Chargers. If you plan on using your phone for directions, you will drain your battery quickly – even if you have it plugged into the standard USB port. The fastest way to keep it charged is using a through the “cigarette lighter”. You can find these anywhere but the best price will be via Amazon.
9. Overnight Bag. If you plan on staying overnight during your road trip, plan on having a small overnight bag with what you need for that night (pajamas, toiletry bag, clothes for the next day, etc). This will prevent you from having to dig around your car for all of your items. Also pack any valuables in this bag so you’re not leaving it in the car overnight.
10. Hand Sanitizer/Anti-bacterial Wipes. Since you are unable to wash your hands while driving, the next best thing to do is use hand sanitizer. Keep a travel size bottle in your center console and use it prior to snacking.
11. Pet Supplies. Another advantage to driving is being able to bring your pet. Be sure to pack water, a water bowl, treats, and blanket that smells like home. If your pet does not travel well in the car, try CBD Oil for pets. We received a thumbs up from our Vet prior to using!