Piling into the car with your family or friends and setting out for a road trip always makes for a fun and memorable vacation. But, your road trip starts long before you load your luggage and buckle your seat belt. Planning and preparing for a road trip takes a little time and energy but will pay off in a better experience for you and your passengers.

Map out your route

Planning a road trip route is slightly more complex than plugging the address of your final destination into your smartphone once you get in the car. For a multi-day road trip, you should map out all the stops you know you want to make, as well as the ones you may need. Use a multi-stop route planner to map out hotels, restaurants, and attractions you wish to see. You can also pop in the locations of public rest stops and parks for mid-drive breaks. It’s also a good idea to set your route to avoid frustrating road works and other delays.

Plan ahead for food stops

One of the best parts of a road trip is trying local specialties and regional foods. But, it is tempting to find a drive-through, grab a burger and eat in the car so you don’t lose time. The last thing you want to do on a road trip is to eat while driving. Though eating while you’re driving is not technically illegal, it is dangerous. Eating can take your eyes and mind off the road and your hands off the wheel. This distraction contributes to many accidents. Plus, food and beverage containers can be used as evidence of reckless driving in the event of an accident. To avoid the risk, plan food stops in advance and indulge in some local restaurants along your route.

Set a budget & find ways to save

Opting for a road trip over flying can be an excellent value. But, there are still lots of costs to consider. Setting a budget for your road trip, which takes food, accommodations, attractions, and extras into account, prevents you from overspending on souvenir t-shirts when you still need to pay for the night’s hotel. If you are looking to save even more cash, consider packing some of your own food to enjoy in parks or rest areas along your route and schedule your trip for off-peak times.

Put together a first aid kit & emergency supplies

Hopefully, your road trip with being a success with no accidents or injuries. But, in case of an emergency, you should be prepared with a first aid kit and basic emergency supplies. Follow the Red Cross’s suggestions for putting together a first aid kit containing bandages, antiseptic, pain relievers, and other basic medical supplies. Then, add a stash of bottled water, energy bars, a blanket, and road flares.

Understand your insurance coverage

With any luck, you won’t need to pull out your insurance card during your road trip. But, you do need to make sure your policy is up to date, and that you understand your coverage before you leave. Read through your policy documents and place copies of your card in your wallet and in the glove box. It is also a good idea to store the contact information for filing a claim in the contacts of your smartphone, to save time and energy in the event of an accident. 

Get your car ready

Before you pack your bags, make sure your vesical is up to a road trip task. To get your car ready for a road trip, start by checking all the fluids and tires. You should also ensure that all the general maintenance needs, such as brake pads, air filters, and light bulbs, are up to date. With all the mechanical needs out of the way, give your car a thorough cleaning, inside and out, so that your passengers are comfortable on the drive.

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