In honor of my upcoming road trip, I thought it would be fun to share some tips for the open road!

I personally enjoy driving long distances, either by myself or with someone else, but there are a lot of things to consider when planning for one. There are safety precautions to take and things for which to prepare just in case, but you also can’t forget about the trip itself — take a little extra time and enjoy yourself! After all, it’s also about the journey, not just the destination.

Safety

Car

This is the most important tip! Definitely, definitely, definitely make sure that your car is in good working order before you go. Whether you have worn-down brake pads or simply need an oil change, it is absolutely vital that you fix up your automotive buddy. Don’t risk it just to save a few bucks. Fix whatever needs to be fixed, for your sake and the sake of your passengers. If you can’t do that, rent a car. Safety is the most important thing.

Tools

Simple survival tools are a must. Something like a Swiss Army Knife would help in a variety of situations. I really don’t know much about this topic, so I would recommend reading up on this elsewhere.

Gas

It may be difficult to find gas stations once you get into the long expanses of highway between major cities, so make sure to keep your tank half-full and above at all times. If you’re approaching halfway and find a gas station, stop and fill up. You never know how far you’ll have to go for another one. You may also consider bringing a gas can just in case.

 

Provisions

Hydration

It can be very easy to get dehydrated while on a trip, so you should always have water nearby. Rather than bringing soda and sugary drinks, water will keep you hydrated and comfortable. I am highly in favor of bringing a cooler on a trip if there is space, and it would provide you with cold water and snacks.

Also, just because you don’t want to constantly stop to use the bathroom, that doesn’t mean you should not drink water on the road. You should plan to stop every few hours to use the restroom, and if you are thirsty, drink something. Don’t become dehydrated because of such a silly reason.

Snacks

I will bring snacks to anything and everything, especially long  trips. You might get a bit hungry but either not have somewhere to stop or not want to have a full meal; therefore, snacks are handy! Snacks like fruit and veggies will be good and hydrating, but only if you have a cooler. Otherwise, I’m a fan of popcorn, chips, and little snack foods like that. I live for Wheat Thins on trips.

Food

If you’re on a relatively long journey (5+ hours), be sure to set aside some time to stop and eat. It will nourish and fill you, allowing for a comfortable trip. One cannot (and should not) live off snack foods alone. Stopping for thirty minutes or an hour to eat will also give you a break from the monotonous journey. It is especially recommended if you’re travelling with others, and it will give everyone time to stretch their legs and have some extra space for a bit.

 

Fun!

I just love road trips, but a lot of people are not content to just drive for hours on end. This is where the most enjoyable part of the journey comes in — activities!

Stopping to visit some sights is a great way to enjoy the trip and give yourself a chance to stretch, walk around, and replenish supplies. Don’t just pass through states and towns that aren’t your final destination. Explore a bit! Have some fun! Especially if you don’t enjoy road trips. You may want to get it over quickly in the beginning, but after experiencing some fun and unique places, you really may come to enjoy it.

 

Happy traveling! Stay safe, have fun, and take lots of pictures.

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