If you’re like most people, the idea of a road trip conjures up images of carefree fun and adventure. But before you hit the open road, you should do a few things to prepare for a successful trip.
Here are some tips on how to pack for your vehicle and yourself, what supplies to bring along, and why it’s important to have roadside assistance. We’ll also discuss AAA insurance discounts that can help make your road trip even more affordable.
Packing for Your Vehicle
The first step is ensuring your vehicle is in good working order. This means prioritizing a quick maintenance check. Some items you should double-check include things like:
- Fluids. Check the oil, coolant, and windshield wiper fluid.
- Lights. This means headlights and taillights. If anything needs to be fixed or replaced, do it before you go. This will save you time and money on the road.
- Spare tire. Make sure it’s properly inflated and ready to go.
- Tools to replace a tire. Be sure you have a jack and lug wrench.
- Tire pressure and tread depth. Look for information on tire pressure in your car’s owner’s manual, or check the tread depth with a penny. Place the coin in the tread groove at several points around the tire. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s likely time to replace your tires.
All of these checks are especially important if you’re planning on doing any off-roading. You’ll need to ensure your vehicle is up for the challenge before putting it through all that extra stress.
Next, you’ll want to pack a few essentials for your vehicle. Prepare for an emergency by including a first-aid kit, flares or reflectors, jumper cables, a fire extinguisher, and a flashlight. You should also bring along some snacks and drinks, as well as a map of your route.
It’s also a good idea to pack a bag for any clothes or items you might need in case of an emergency.
Packing for Yourself and Your Family
In addition to packing for your vehicle, you’ll also want to make sure you have everything you need for yourself. This includes a comfortable pair of walking shoes, a hat or sunglasses, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
You’ll also want to bring along a few days’ worth of clothes, as well as any medications you might need.
If you’re traveling with children, don’t forget to pack some toys and games to keep them entertained. We recommend brushing up on your car ride activities for kids. Here are just a few commonly used tactics for entertaining little ones on a long drive:
- Listening to audiobooks
- Playing road-trip bingo
- Making up stories about the things you see along the way
- Playing sightseeing games like “I Spy”
But remember, these games and tricks can be short, and a road trip can be quite long. So it’s recommended that you develop plans A, B, C, and D.
Packing for the Destination
Whether you’re headed somewhere beautiful and natural like Glacier National Park or you want to take a trip to an iconic city like Tombstone, AZ, there are obviously different things you need to consider.
If you’re camping, for example, you’ll need to ensure you have all the necessary gear like a tent, sleeping bags, and camp chairs.
You’ll also want to bring food that can be easily prepared over a fire or camp stove.
On the other hand, if you’re staying in a hotel, you’ll want to pack clothes and toiletries for your stay.
You’ll also want to research the area you’re visiting so you can plan activities and attractions to enjoy during your trip.
AAA Insurance Discounts That Provide Peace of Mind and Extra Savings
Before embarking on a road trip, most people are concerned about their vehicle breaking down. After all, being stranded on the side of the road is never fun.
AAA membership can help to ease those worries, as members are eligible for discounts on auto insurance and roadside assistance.
AAA roadside assistance can be a lifesaver if your vehicle does break down, as you won’t have to worry about finding a tow truck or paying for repairs. If you do need to use AAA’s roadside assistance, the discount on your auto insurance will help to offset the cost.
So if you’re planning a road trip, consider becoming a AAA member: It could save you both time and money. AAA also offers discounts on hotels, restaurants, and attractions, so be sure to take advantage of them.
Start Packing and Enjoy the Trip
Preparing for a road trip doesn’t have to be a chore. Following these tips ensures you’re prepared for anything the open road might throw at you.
Luke Williams writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. His passions include insurance and helping others travel safely.