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Top 4 Road Trip Essentials

by Alex John |

With summer ending, some of us are looking to capture those last couple rays and moments of freedom. One of the best ways to do that is by hitting the open road. And while going for a big driving trip can seem self-explanatory, there are some things that are very important to keep in mind. 

Let’s go over a little checklist on how to set yourself up for a successful trip and a great experience.

The Car

This is first and foremost- get your car completely checked out before the trip. You are going to want to do a diagnostic check, inspect your tires to make sure they have their treads and take stock of all your fluid levels. Even if you are not due for an oil change, consider getting one depending on the length of your trip.

Do a little preventive planning as well. Bring jumper cables, a spare tire and jack and a gas can. Make sure your AC and your heat are up to snuff. You may be surprised by the weather at different times of day, especially if you are going to be exploring a location that’s new to you.

The Company

For a big trip, you are going to want to ensure that your traveling partner is someone who you can get along with very well. You will be facing stressful situations such as getting lost, being hungry and not being able to find gas or other essentials, and you will have to deal with those things together. 

Your ideal road partner should be able to help you with the driving, sit with you in comfortable silence and be able to amuse themselves if you need some time to yourself. Everyone is different. It can be a good idea to first complete a short trip with someone, just to see how it goes. 

The Destinations and Arrangements

Depending on your comfort level, it can be a life-changing experience to camp in a state or national park. If you have a hatchback or a wagon, consider investing in a tent that attaches to the back of your vehicle for a good combination of space and security. 

Otherwise, get suited up with a good tent and sleeping bag and a small cooking stove. Make sure to check the temperatures at your destinations, though, and compare them with the suggested parameters for your equipment. Some lightweight sleeping bags will leave you cold in the middle of the night in the desert. 

Of course, if the great outdoors seems like more of a day trip plan for you, then book accommodations in advance. Check with family and friends along the way who can put you up, or look into some motel or internet rental options. 

The Packing

Besides healthy snacks and water, bring sturdy shoes and comfortable clothes. You want to bring extra pairs of underwear, socks and shirts. You may not have access to laundry everywhere you go. But when you do get the chance to do a load, make sure you have clothes that are easy to wash to dry. Check the weather of your location and plan accordingly,