How To Prepare for a Long Road Trip

Road Trips. While these may have been exciting when you were younger, the possibility of getting stranded on the road doesn’t appeal to most people as they get older. If you want to avoid any of these situations it is important to do long road trip planning well in advance.

1. Have your vehicle serviced - There is no bigger let-down during a long road trip than having to wait by the side of the road for a tow truck to take you to the nearest service station. Having a well-maintained vehicle is important at all times, but it is essential to help ensure your road trip goes as smoothly as possible. You should have your vehicle serviced within a few days of leaving on your road trip to ensure that all your fluids are fresh and topped off and your belts and hoses are in good shape. If your oil will need changed while you are on the road you may want to have it done before you leave. And finally, check out the tires to make sure they have enough tread and the tire pressure is at the proper level.


2. Plan your route - No one wants to get lost on a desert highway or in the middle of the Everglades so proper long road trip planning is an important part. Along with keeping you from getting lost, trip planning can help you find little known road side attractions that can make your trip even more memorable. Visit your local library or look online for road side attractions on your route and use an atlas or a website like www.MapQuest.com to find out what the best route is. Whether you need the most direct or the most scenic route is entirely up to you.


3. Plan for the worst - If you’re going to be traveling in the winter time you should pack extra clothes and boots in case you get stuck or your engine dies. And no matter what time of year you plan on traveling, make sure you have enough food and water to keep all your passengers sustained for several hours in case of a breakdown.


4. Pack an emergency road kit - No matter what time of year you are planning to take a long road trip, having an emergency road kit in your vehicle is vital if you break down while on the road. Every emergency road kit should at the very least include flares, jumper cables, a flashlight, windshield washer fluid, an extra quart of oil and gallon of antifreeze as well as some basic tools and a first aid kit.


5. Know where to hang your hat - While traveling by the seat of your pants may add a bit of excitement to your road trip, having to spend the night in your car because all the hotels in the area have the “No” on their Vacancy signs illuminated will out a damper on anyone’s mood. While preparing for a long road trip, or any road trip for that matter, you will want to reserve a room well in advance; especially if you are traveling to a resort town or larger city.


6. Plan to rest - Traveling long distances can be very fatiguing on a person’s body. To help avoid becoming over-tired or highway hypnosis, plan enough time to take rest breaks every hundred miles or so, especially if only one person is doing the driving.


7. Do a last minute check - No matter how well you prepare, there is still a chance you could forget something important when you prepare for a long road trip. Right before you leave run down the checklist of what you want to take with you and check your fluids and tire pressure one last time.

Whether you are taking a vacation with your family, traveling with a group of friends or by yourself, a long road trip can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Being unprepared can turn your dream vacation into a nightmare in a matter of moments. Following these tips for long road trip helps you to keep your trip as care-free as possible so you can focus on seeing the sights and having a good time.

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