There’s nothing better than packing up the car or SUV and heading off down the road. However, there are a few things that can make your road trip much better, or at least less stressful!
To Plan or Not to Plan
Some people love the thrill of “ending up” somewhere based on random fingers on a map. Others, however, panic at the thought of not having a clear idea of what the end point is for the journey. Do some soul searching here and decide which category you fall into. Maybe you’d like to combine the two by knowing where you want to end up, but not necessarily what you’ll do on the way.
No matter how you stay organized, packing lists will make things easier. When you start planning your trip, write down everything you know you’ll need to take with you. Make a list for each person, and make sure items are checked off as they are packed. This will not only save lots of searching on the road, it will save cash too by eliminating unexpected stops for supplies.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Many people forget that all important tune up, checking and rotating the tires, and changing the oil – all those things that will make sure your vehicle is up to the task. This is especially important if you are heading out on a trip that will be hundreds or even thousands of miles. There’s nothing worse than being five states over and trying to deal with all your luggage, the kids, and a car that can’t finish the trip.
If kids will be in the car, you need to do a quick bit of research to come up with games to play on the road. If you think you can rely on tablets or cellphones, think again – you will come across areas where reception and signal are poor or non-existent. Knowing a few games for backup will save the day!
Pack a Cooler
If you don’t want to spend your entire vacation fund on fast food or convenience store snacks, pack a cooler. Each time you stop for the night, find a grocery store and restock anything you'll need for the next day. Bringing a stocked cooler on the road will also save on the amount of time it takes you to get to your destination since you won't have to stop every time someone in the car gets hungry.
These are just a few of the important things you need to know about road trips. Don’t forget to have fun and just enjoy the ride!
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as 5 Essential Things to Know About Road Trips and was authored by Valerie Johnston.