Nothing screams summer quite like a road trip. Whether you’re planning to hit the open road with your buddies, or you’re taking time out with the family, it’s wise to prep in advance. Road trips may seem like fun, but they can also be stressful, especially if you’ve scrimped on forward planning. If you’re looking forward to a summer road trip, here’s a checklist to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Preparing your wagon
If you plan to drive your own car, there’s nothing more important than making sure it’s in good condition before you set off on your voyage of discovery. You don’t want to find yourself on the side of a dusty track in the middle of the desert or miss out on days of fun at the beach because you’ve got a puncture and no spare tire. Before you go, have a look at the tires, engine oil, and water levels. If your tires are worn, it’s worth replacing them before you leave home. It’s also a good idea to use a brake fluid tester to check fluid levels and to book a service if your vehicle is overdue a trip to the auto repair shop. Once you’re happy that your wagon is ready for action, you can turn your attention to packing.
Packing is something we both dread and look forward to simultaneously. It’s arduous, and it can be stressful, but the mere fact that you’re doing it indicates that you’re about to go away on vacation. To make packing less stressful, leave yourself plenty of time to do your laundry and go to the store if there are items you still need to pick up before you go. Think about what you’re going to be doing on your vacation, and check the weather forecast. If you’re going to a national park and you’re going hiking and sleeping in tents, it makes sense to take sturdy, comfortable shoes, warm layers, and extra blankets. If you’re hitting the beach, you’ll need towels, sun lotion, and swimwear. If you are camping in a remote location, stock up on food and drinks before you leave, as you may end up miles away from a decent store. Whatever kind of vacation you’re taking, it’s wise to pack a first aid kit.
Enjoying the ride
We tend to have a romantic, rose-tinted vision of spending hours in the car when the journey is marketed as a road trip. While the prospect of taking a break is exciting, getting there isn’t always fun. The novelty of sitting still in a confined space with others can soon wear thin. To make the ride more enjoyable, pack snacks and drinks, play games, and consider taking handheld consoles, tablets or a portable DVD player. Take regular breaks to stretch your legs, and use a map and your sat nav system to prevent you from getting lost.
Are you ready for your summer road trip? If you’re not quite there yet, hopefully, this guide will help you ensure you’ve got everything you need for an awesome vacation.