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How to Prepare for a Road Trip Featured

How to Prepare for a Road Trip Photo by worak via Flickr

Even though Summer is officially over and the weather is getting colder, it doesn't mean that road trips are over as well. We are approaching the busy holiday season, in which many people will drive to see their families for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.

If you are like me, then you enjoy road trips. Yes, sitting in a car for hours upon hours can sometimes get tiring, but there are just so many things to do and experience when you are taking a road trip.

There are many amazing roadside attractions in the United States. Before you embark to see them all, there are many things that you might want to think about before you leave for a road trip, no matter how long or short your road trip may be.

I went on a road trip this past weekend to Chicago, which is around a 10 hour round trip drive. So it wasn't that long of a drive. However, in August we drove to New Orleans from St. Louis, and I believe that was around 10 hour drive each way (or 20 hours altogether!).

Here are some tips to prepare for your next road trip:

Car maintenance

One of the main things that you need to think about is car maintenance of course. No matter how knew your car is, you will need to look into this, as almost all cars will need some sort of maintenance before heading out of a long drive.

You will want to absolutely check and replace if needed:

  1. Oil
  2. Wiper blades
  3. Tires
  4. Headlights
  5. Brake lights
  6. Turn lights
  7. Spare tire - If you have a full-size spare tire, that is even better.


Personal Safety

Car safety was outlined above, but what about personal safety? Some might not care for cell phones, but if you do have one, then you will want to make sure that your phone is fully charged. This is especially important if you are going on a long trip where they may not be anywhere to stop for miles upon miles.

A first aid kit may come in handy as well. They can be found at stores for cheap, and buying a kit can last quite some time.

Making sure that drivers have enough sleep is important as well. Sometimes the second or third driver may try to catch up on sleep in the car before it is their turn to drive, but as most people know, sometimes it can be very difficult and sometimes even impossible to sleep when you are in a car.


Know Where You Are Going

This may seem so simple, but in this day and age, so many people rely on their cell phones. However, you may want to get a physical map and plan out your drive ahead of time, just in case something with your cell phone happens. Also, you might want to know about any construction that may be happening as well.

Mapping out any roadside attractions that you want to visit may be a good idea as well. This way you can knock them all out in a row, instead of driving back and forth and wasting gas.


Know Your Budget.

A road trip can be very cheap, or it can be rather expensive. Plan out your budget beforehand and know where you are willing to splurge, and where you will try to save money.


Have Food.

Having food on a road trip can make a trip much more enjoyable. Bring your favorite snacks. This can save you time from having to make stops for food, and it can also ease your food budget as you won't have to buy expensive food on the go. So, before you leave, make sure to pack up your cooler with your favorite food and drinks.

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