After 2020, we’re all dealing with a serious case of cabin fever. And the best cure for that is a classic American road trip. Windows down, radio blasting, and miles of pavement between you and your destination. But before you load the car and start burning rubber, it’s important to make sure both you and your vehicle are prepared for the journey. We’ve gathered the top tips from car manufacturers and travel experts to keep you in the fast lane.
Every road trip driver (heck, every driver period) should make sure to have these critical tools and things on hand.
– License and registration: The most essential of the essentials. Not having these could spell big trouble if you get pulled over for any reason.
– Your car’s manual: While you may feel like you know your vehicle inside and out, there’s often critical information you might have missed or forgotten that your manual will be able to tell you.
– A spare tire or tire repair kit: A flat can happen anywhere and anytime. Being able to patch it up or replace it with a spare will let you get it to a proper repair shop without having to pay for a potentially expensive tow.
– Roadside emergency kit: It may feel like you’re going overboard, but if you get into a sticky situation, you’ll be glad you have one of these kits. Batter booster cable, light sticks, rain poncho, tire pressure gauge, warning triangle, flashlight – these items can make a big difference if you break down.
– Some basic tools: You don’t have to be a mechanic to be able to fix some problems on your car. A screwdriver, a wrench and maybe some pliers too will let you tighten anything that comes loose on your journey.
– Ice scraper and gloves: While not so useful on a trip to Florida, these items are a must when traveling anywhere cold.
– A map: Look, our smartphones are amazing, but they run on battery power. And if that power runs out, you’re left with little more than a paperweight. Having a paper map handy ensures you can always know where you’re going.
Pack Like A Pro
Now that your vehicle is geared up, make sure you are too with these critical clothing items.
– Sunglasses: Little feels worse than driving with the sun in your eyes. A pair of shades can make all the difference against a harsh glare.
– Sweater and/or blanket: Even in relatively warm climates, nights can occasionally get chilly. For those moments, it’s good to know you have something to keep the heat in.
– Swimwear and a towel: Your vacation may not have swimming in the itinerary, but you may still happen upon a hotel with a pool on your travels. Better to have the option to swim than to get left out.
– A light jacket: Whether to protect yourself from the sun, shield yourself from the rain or just to break the wind, a jacket has you prepared for anything.
– Proper footwear: Flip flops for the sand or boots for hiking trails – your feet will thank you for having the right shoes for the job.
Prepared For Fun
While traveling the open road is a fun adventure all on its own, having a few items to entertain yourself in your down time is always a good idea.
– A camera: Whether it’s a fancy DSLR or just the one that comes on your phone, you’ll want to have the ability to capture the special (and also ordinary!) moments of your trip.
– A book or e-reader: Perfect while waiting at the repair shop or sitting in your hotel room for the night, having a book means you can continue adventuring even while not on the road.
– Games: You don’t need to pack a PlayStation 5, but having a game or two can also help to pass the time in a fun way. An app on your phone and a pack of cards go a long way.
– Hot jams: It wouldn’t be a proper car trip without some good tunes for the road. Your car radio should have you covered generally, but for a more tailored experience, be sure to bring a curated playlist or a couple choice CDs.
Last But Definitely Not Least – Insurance
Accidents happen on the road, but they don’t have to ruin your trip. Make sure you have a policy with a reputable insurance such as Freeway Auto Insurance. It is vastly important that your car insurance is up to date and covers you in case of emergency.