Friends on a road trip

Warm spring days are upon us and there’s no better time to head out on an exciting road trip with friends and family. While building your itinerary and mapping out your pit stops are the biggest parts of planning a trip, there’s plenty of other prep work to be done. Before you hit the road, take some time to follow these road trip tips to ensure your vacation goes off without a hitch!

Get Your Car Maintenanced

No matter how new your car is, it’s always a smart idea to get it maintenanced before leaving on a long road trip. You can look over the car yourself or take it to the experts for extra peace of mind. Evans Tire & Service Centers can make sure all the key parts of your vehicle are in safe working order:

  • Tires – Checking for wear and tear
  • Engine and brakes – Checking the health of your engine, brakes, and heating and cooling system 
  • Lights – Checking all of your lights and replacing any that are dead or dim
  • Wiper blades – Making sure you have a good set of blades in case the weather turns bad
  • Battery – Checking the health of your car battery and replacing it if necessary
  • Motor Oil – Doing an oil change 

Man cleaning car for trip preparation

Consider Cleaning Your Vehicle

Cleaning your car isn’t a crucial road trip tip, but it’s definitely one you’ll wish you followed if your car tends to be quite messy. Sitting in the same spot for hours is already tough, but sitting in filth is even worse. 

Bite the bullet and give your car a deep clean so it feels fresh and organized while you’re on the road. First, you can clear out junk and trash to free up space. Then, you can do a quick vacuum to get rid of old crumbs and dirt. Those two cleaning tips alone will make a huge difference!

Remember to keep up the good work once you’ve started your trip so your car stays relatively clean and tidy.

Prepare to Eat on the Road

Although it would be nice to eat out at restaurants and fast food joints every time you get hungry on your trip, that’s usually not an option. Whether you have a strict budget or are three hours away from the closest town, you need to have a back-up plan for dining.

Pack a cooler full of drinks and food from Walmart, along with any other bags of snacks that you can easily access while you’re driving. For a sweet treat, head to See’s Candies and stock up on everyone’s favorite candies.

Bring All Necessary Documents

Another major element of road trip preparation is packing all the necessary documents. Bring along your current license, registration, and proof of insurance because it’s always better to be safe than sorry! 

Road trip essentials

Pack Up the Essentials

The definition of “essentials” is obviously different from person to person, but there are a few main items you should always have with you on a trip of any kind. Here are a handful of essentials you should pack as you go through your trip preparation:

  • Phone/phone charger cable/portable battery charger
  • Jumper cables
  • First aid kit
  • Toilet paper
  • Cash/small change
  • Maps/GPS

Join a Roadside Rescue Service

You never know when you may run into some trouble on the road, so it’s best to prepare for the worst. If you haven’t already, join a roadside rescue service in the event that you run out of gas or your car breaks down. Allstate Motor Club, AAA, and Good Sam Club are a few companies that are highly recommended. 

An important road trip tip to consider when choosing a roadside assistance service is to pay attention to the mile limits they enforce. If you’re 100 miles away from the nearest town, you need to know if the service will drive that far to reach you. 

Woman reading in car

Think About Entertainment

When you’re on a road trip, the first hour or so of driving seems like a cake walk. Give it another few hundred miles and you’ll be bored out of your mind. That’s where car entertainment comes in. This road trip tip is especially helpful if you have young kids in the car.

Bring along toys, movies, and board games from Target to keep the little ones occupied for hours on end. Some of the games can even be fun for you too. 

For an adult road trip, download music on your phone, bring an adult coloring book, or pick out a novel from Barnes & Noble

Anticipate Traffic

As you map out your trip schedule and directions on how you’ll get to each destination, think about traffic and the time of day you’ll be driving. For example, if you plan on driving through Los Angeles on a Friday, you should probably anticipate lots of traffic on the freeway. Simply planning ahead and shifting your driving schedule to avoid rush hour will save you time and a major headache.

Have an Emergency Fund

Prepare for the unexpected on any road trip you take. As you budget out your lodgings, groceries, and activities, leave a cushion for an emergency fund. There are many situations where this fund may come in handy. Whether you need to stay an extra night at your hotel or you find yourself at the car shop again, you’ll thank yourself for saving the money.

Adventuring across the country is an experience of a lifetime, so make sure you do it right by following these road trip tips! And don’t forget to shop at Macy’s at Grossmont Center to build up your wardrobe for the beautiful spring weather! 

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