(Written by Lindsay Traiman) The idea of a road trip may conjure up images of an excited family tossing their hastily packed suitcases into the car trunk and speeding off into the sunset. But hasty and road trip are two words that should never be used together. Instead, the key to a successful, enjoyable road trip is thorough preparation and smart thinking so that you can be ready for whatever the open road throws at you. Follow the tips below to ensure your trip goes smoothly and safely.
Before you leave:
- Get your car a checkup – Before you leave, take your car in to get its oil, wipers and brakes checked. It’s better to deal with any problems before you leave than when you’re stuck on the side of the highway.
- Join a motor club – Becoming a member of a motor club like Allstate guarantees you protection on your trip. There are all kinds of slip-ups that can happen on the road, from locking yourself out to running out of gas, and motor club members are taken care of in all sorts of situations. Accidents happen, and motor club members have peace of mind knowing their motor club will be there for them no matter what.
- Map out your trip – Planning out your route prior to leaving helps ensure a stress-free ride. Look for landmarks or restaurants so you can plan where you want to stop in advance. Even if you have your route plugged into a GPS—which is always smart to do if you have one—bring roadmaps with you in case it stops working so you don’t get lost.
- Pack an emergency kit - Keep a kit with emergency essentials in the trunk of your car so it’s there just in case something happens. Fill it with items like road flares, a blanket, jumper cables, a flashlight, and any other tool that might come in handy. You can buy a pre-assembled kit or easily put one together yourself.
Don’t forget to bring:
- A charged cell and car phone charger – Having a cell phone is the number one thing to bring with you on a road trip. You can use it to easily call for directions or roadside assistance (if you are a motor club member, make sure to always keep their roadside assistance number with you). If you don’t have a charger that works in your car outlet, keep a pay as you go cell phone with you in case of emergencies.
- Music options – Make sure you have lots of CDs or make a variety of iPod playlists. You never know when you’ll be driving through areas with poor radio signal, and the only thing worse than a music-less road trip is spending hours listening to radio static.
- Snacks – Pack some non-perishable snacks like granola bars and water for when you get hungry and the next rest stop is 50 miles down the road. Put some of these in your emergency kit too, just in case.
- Important documents – Besides the obvious driver’s license and registration that you should have with you whenever you drive, it’s smart to have printouts of hotel or similar confirmations with you too. In case of a mix up, you want to make sure you sleep in a bed and not your backseat!
Follow these tips before you leave to avoid stress during your drive. Being prepared is the best way to have a relaxing and fun family road trips.
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* The article,Prep Smart for Your Next Road Trip has been published on WeLoveTravels.