As the end of summer approaches; there is no better time to gather your friends or family and embark on a long distance road trip. Whether you are off to visit a friend or relative a few states away or exploring a few of your favorite destinations along the way; be sure to plan ahead to get the most out of your trip. Check out our eight must-have road trip items below so you can have a worry-free trip.
8 Essential Tips For A Long Distance Road Trip
1. A Plan and A Budget
One of the best ways to begin planning your long distance road trip is to plot out how far you will drive each day, where you will stay and how much money to budget for each. Booking overnight lodging ahead of time can save a lot of money, and you can use apps like Waze and GasBuddy to avoid traffic and find the cheapest gas prices.
You can still leave room for spontaneity, but planning the backbone of your trip will save you from sleeping in the car or getting stuck in traffic. A daily spending budget will ensure that you can afford to have fun during the whole trip.
2. A Comfortable, Road-Ready Vehicle
During your long distance road trip you will likely spend a considerable amount of time in the car, so be sure that you have a road ready and comfortable vehicle. Start by cleaning your car thoroughly and consider taking it into a mechanic’s shop for a checkup if you are unsure about any aspect of the road worthiness. It is better to have your brakes and tyres checked before the trip; than to let them derail your plans on the road. You can also purchase a car organizer or a rack for the top of your car to maximize packing space and make the most of your trunk and other areas accessible during the drive.
3. License, Registration, Passport and Insurance Information
You never plan to get in a fender-bender or receive a speeding ticket, but it is important to know where your identification, vehicle registration and insurance information are located before you need them. If you are switching out drivers during the trip, be sure everyone has their respective information ready.
4. Comfortable Clothes for the Drive
It is important to pack clothes suited for your destination, but remember that during your drive you will need clothes that suit the areas you are passing through. Athletic wear or shorts are great for staying comfortable during long car rides, and do not forget comfortable footwear like sneakers or sandals. It is also a good idea to include a small towel and an extra pair of socks in your day bag just in case you need them.
5.Travel and First Aid Kits
Similarly to accidents and tickets, you never know what kind of small or large emergency you could face on the long distance road trip, so it is always better to be prepared. Travel kits should include:
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Extra batteries
- Jumper cables
- Tire pressure gauge
- Air pump
- Phillips/flathead screwdrivers
While your first aid kit should have:
- Bandages of various sizes
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Pain Relievers
- Aloe Vera
6.Snacks and Cheap Meal Options
The easiest way to go over budget is buying fast food and gas station munchies. Plan ahead and pack healthy, filling snacks like granola, protein bars and Chex mix to keep your energy levels up during the trip. Use a refillable water bottle and set aside a bag or area to store trash between stops.
Once you arrive at your destination, use various online coupon websites to find out about restaurant deals. It will always be cheaper to visit a grocery store for snacks and meals, so try to cook for yourself when you can. By saving money on food you will have more to spend on fun activities and souvenirs.
7.On and Off Road Entertainment
Since you will spend a while in your car, it is important to plan ahead with plenty of music and entertainment options. Make a few playlists depending on your mood and the time of day you are traveling, and bookmark a few podcasts and books on tape.
Pack a few books, comics or magazines to read along with your favorite handheld gaming device or tablet. Do not forget extra batteries and your charger! Then again if you want to unplug there are always travel games to play in the car.
8.Pillows, Blankets and Other Comfort Items
As much as you can prep your car, it is a good idea to bring extra items to stay comfortable during your drive. A good travel pillow and blanket can mean the difference between relaxing sleep and restless nights on the road. Sunglasses and a sleep mask can stave the summer sun and heat, along with sunscreen, body wipes, lotion, hair ties and other minor toiletries.
Still deciding where to go?
[Read: Scenic Drives]