Sometimes, road trips are the best way to get you to your destination. Whether you’re hitting the highway to avoid the high cost of airfare or you want have some fun in between point A and point B, a little preparation goes a long way when it comes to planning a stress-free trip.
1. Schedule a maintenance appointment for your car
This is an absolute necessity for longer trips. You can then be sure that the fluids, battery, brakes, and tires are in excellent shape. And always start your trip with a full tank of gas.
2. Bring an emergency kit
Make sure that you have first aid supplies, tools, blankets, extra water, jumper cables, a spare tire, an extra set of keys and key batteries, and protein bars. Brainstorm with your passenger(s) to come up with your own customized list of essentials.
3. Download a navigation app
Choose the app that best suits your needs. Google Maps and Waze are terrific. In addition, you might want to bring along a portable GPS navigation system as a back up. And remember, travel guides (yes, actual books) and paper maps can be quite helpful as well.
4. Bring specific items for the kids and pets
If your trip includes your children and/or your fur babies, make sure that they have their necessary supplies, which may include fun foods, toys, games, tablets, and blankets and pillows. Traveling to new places and being in the car for long periods of time can cause a great deal of stress for kids and pets, so try to empathize with them and plan accordingly.
Here are more things to consider when traveling with pets.
5. Pack your important documents
Be sure to bring drivers licenses, the vehicle registration card, and auto and medical insurance cards. Also, even if you are in the United States, bringing a passport is still a good idea. Your marriage license, emergency medical contact cards, powers of attorney documents, and advance health care directives might be seen as a damper on the mood of the trip, but not having them would make the situation even worse. As they say, “prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.”
6. Bring medications
Make sure you bring prescription drugs and related health supplies for everyone on the trip. In addition, don’t forget your daily vitamins, supplements, and other health essentials.