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Savvy Travel Tips

How to Prepare for Your Next Road Trip

Road trips are an incredibly fun and exciting way to travel. Though they take a little longer than hopping on a plane, road trips offer many things like stunning views and unexpected adventures you could never get if you choose to fly.

Sometimes, when you see a road trip depicted in movies or television, there is often much spontaneity and many carefree feelings. However, road trips are a little more work than just hopping in the car and hitting the road.

It’s important to know what you should pack, how you should prepare, and to consider options like 14-day car insurance before you leave.

As you get farther from home, you’ll realize it’s not as simple to hit the road as you might have imagined — and not nearly as cheap. Without proper preparation, you will be stuck paying a lot more money and feeling a lot more stress than you would have if you prepared ahead of time.

So what can you do to make sure you’re ready to have the best road trip possible? Let’s talk about it.

Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Road-Trip Ready

Your vehicle is arguably the most crucial part of your trip. It will be what gets you from point A to point B and everywhere in between. If your vehicle isn’t in proper working order, chances are your road trip will go downhill quickly.

Make sure you’re taking good care of your vehicle with routine checks, oil changes, and tire rotations. This ensures you will have the smoothest possible ride. It’s also wise to get these things done right before leaving on your road trip to make sure your car is as ready as it can be to hit the road.

If you feel like your personal vehicle is not up to par, you can always look into rental options for your trip. There are countless vehicle options available at most rental locations that can fit almost anyone’s needs.

The most important thing is having a vehicle you trust to take you on your journey, be it yours or a rental.

Once you know you have a reliable vehicle, get the right coverage while you’re out on your adventure. Good insurance coverage protects you from possible instances that may occur, such as accidents. You don’t want to be stuck in an unknown location worrying about how you’ll pay to get your car fixed.

A lousy vehicle or no insurance coverage is an easy way to take your road trip from fun and exciting to stressful and expensive.

Pack Road Trip Essentials in the Car

Another great way to make sure your road trip runs smoothly is to pack things you’ll need ahead of time.

Food and Drink Options

While stopping at different places along your journey and grabbing meals or snacks seems like a good idea, the cost can add up quickly. Making a pit stop every time you’re craving a snack is a good way to spend way more money than you might have planned. Keep in mind most places such as gas stations charge far more for a drink or snack than you would pay buying in bulk from the store.

That’s not to say you can’t stop somewhere that catches your eye, but having snacks and drinks ready in the car can help cut down costs and stay on a budget so you have more money to spend on other things.

Having ready-to-grab drinks and snacks can also come in handy when you can’t seem to find a place to stop. Depending on where you’re traveling, rest stops or gas stations may not be super accessible. Packing ahead of time saves you some stress of having to find somewhere to grab something.

Extra Clothing and Blankets

Keep some extra clothing items on hand in your car. Even if your travel destination is a warmer climate, weather can sometimes have a mind of its own. You never know what can happen while you’re on the road. The temperature could drop significantly, leaving you shivering.

There is also the possibility of your car breaking down after the temperature outside has dropped. You won’t want to be left without any heavier clothes or blankets to warm up with while you’re stuck waiting in the cold. Having a few extra layers ready to grab at a moment’s notice or even a blanket to cover up with is an excellent idea to keep on hand.

Other clothing items like an extra pair of shoes are also great to keep within grabbing distance. You never know what kind of situation you might end up in. Your shoes might wind up getting wet or uncomfortable to wear for extended periods if you find yourself wanting to stop somewhere and walk. 

Emergency Items

Though it may seem like the worst-case scenario, bad things can happen while you’re on the road. Things don’t always go smoothly and according to plan. Prepare for the worst, just in case.

Having emergency items such as road flares, flashlights, a first aid kit, a jack, and jumper cables can be extremely helpful if anything happens, such as an accident or car troubles on your road trip. 

Though packing these emergency necessities may not be your first thought while you’re getting things together for your trip, you will surely be glad you have them if a situation arises.

Road Trip Ready With a Little Preparation 

Even if you imagine a road trip being as simple as hopping in the car and deciding to go, there is a lot of preparation that goes into the process. You want to be sure you have a reliable vehicle in good working order, plenty of essential items like snacks and warm clothing, and even be prepared for emergencies.

All these things might take away from the idea of a spontaneous road trip, but they are vital to having a smooth and exciting adventure with less worry and more fun. Without them, you could find your trip ruined or even cut short due to unexpected circumstances.

Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, BuyAutoInsurance.com. Road trips are her preferred method of travel, and she takes extra time packing and researching to be sure she is prepared before she hits the road.

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