The great American road trip is often looked upon as a rite of passage. And though the iconic roadways across the country have been largely replaced by Interstates and other major thoroughfares, taking a road trip is still the best way to see the country.
During the late ’20s, the iconic Route 66 was officially established as the route that connected the heartland to the west. And even though this road has been decommissioned in many areas, some parts of the old highway are still accessible.
But you don’t have to rely on old Route 66 to enjoy a road trip. In fact, your enjoyment is going to depend on you and how you plan for your trip.
If you’re thinking of embarking on a cross-country road trip, the following article will detail a few tips to keep you safe and allow you to make some great memories.
Getting Your Vehicle Ready
Perhaps the most important thing to remember, aside from your sunglasses, is to have your car thoroughly checked out prior to hitting the road. And this is essential for a number of reasons.
First, your car is going to be your lifeline. And without it, your trip might turn into an absolute nightmare. As such, you’ll want to thoroughly look over your insurance policy to ensure that you have some form of roadside assistance or a towing package just in case unfortunate circumstances arise.
If you find that your insurance doesn’t adequately cover you, shop around for a new quote and select a new policy.
Additionally, you’ll also want to make sure that your car is in good driving condition. So ensure that you’ve had a recent oil change and that you’ve topped off all fluids. Further, make sure your spare tire is inflated just in case you get a flat while on the road.
Every road trip requires a few essential items that will not only make you more comfortable, they will also help to keep you safe.
Your packing list may vary considerably depending on the length of your trip and how far you’re going to be driving. But the following list of essentials is sure to cover a trip of moderate length:
- First aid kit
- Road safety kit
- Tire patching kit
- Navigation system
- Phone mount
- Sunglasses & sunscreen
Though the list above covers mostly safety items. These will prove to be the most beneficial in the event that you find yourself stranded, or in need of help.
Additionally, you may also want to bring a means of personal self-defence along with you. But if you do, ensure that you’re operating within the law across all states that you’re travelling through.
Last but not least, no road trip is complete without a handful of creature comforts to keep you occupied along your trip. And one of the best things you can bring along with you is a great selection of music.
Creating a playlist or taking along a variety of CDs (if you still roll like that) is the best way to enjoy your favorite tunes on the road. And in addition, don’t forget about the kids if they’re along for the ride too.
Having a portable DVD player or a tablet for kids is a great way to distract them from the long drive that they’re sure to remind you about every 5 minutes.
Other items you might consider bringing are a travel cooler for cold drinks and snacks, camping gear in case you decide to stop at a campground for the night, a book or two for lonely nights in a hotel, or anything else you can think of help passing the time.
Road trips are one of the best ways to watch the changing landscape and meet new and interesting people along the way. And no matter where you’re going, remember, the point of a road trip is not the destination, it’s the journey itself.