Summer is here, and whether you’re planning a road trip with your girlfriends or a memorable trip with your family, you undoubtedly have a lot of planning to do. You’re probably busy finalizing your accommodation reservations and who will watch your pets while you’re away, so the thought of making a checklist might be a little overwhelming.
While your summer road trip needs may be different from other travelers, here are some things to consider before you hit the road.
Get a Tune-Up for Your Car
Whether you’re traveling just a few hours away or heading cross country, getting your car checked out by your trusted mechanic is always a good idea. Make sure your fluids are topped off, your AC is working well, and that your tires are in good condition.
Don’t forget to check out the condition of your spare tire, stash an emergency roadside kit in the trunk, and make sure you have a copy of your license, registration, and proof of insurance in your glovebox. When it comes to getting your car road-ready, it’s definitely better to be over prepared than lacking some essentials.
Pack Some Personal Hygiene Essentials
You never know when you’ll have a bathroom emergency or come across a rest stop that is all out of toilet paper. Stashing a roll or two of toilet paper doesn’t take up too much room in your car, and you will probably be happy that you have it on hand.
It’s also a good idea to pack a bottle of hand sanitizer, paper towels, baby wipes, or even a towel so that you have some “multi-purpose” cleaning options whether you’re stopping for a picnic or need to clean up a spilled Slurpee in the car.
If you’re traveling for a few days, don’t forget to have your deodorant stashed somewhere where it’s easy to reach (and out of the direct heat), and always bring along sunscreen and bug spray. There’s a good chance that you can buy these items on the road, but you never know when you’ll need them and whether or not they will be available.
Load Up Your Phone With “Must Have Apps”
Remember the days of traveling with your trusty smartphone? Not many people do! Even if you’re trying to disconnect on your road trip, it’s always a good idea to have some essential travel apps on your phone. Whether you need some assistance with directions, want the best gas prices, or some tunes to “up” your road trip to the next level, consider these apps:
- TollSmart or TollGuru
- Roadside America
- Flush Toilet Finder
While there’s really an app for everything and they are convenient (and even lifesaving), it’s important that you remember to keep your eyes and hands off your phone while driving. Distractions continue to be one of the biggest contributing factors in car accidents across the U.S.
Some Odds n’ Ends
A first-aid kit is always good to stow away in your car, and a multi-purpose tool (like a Swiss army knife) can help you out in a variety of situations. Don’t forget to grab a spare phone charger, a roll of quarters for a toll booth or vending machine, and a gallon of water (which you can use for cleaning, drinking, or if your car overheats).
With a little planning, your summer road trip can be more epic than stressful. Enjoy the ride, drive safely, and make it a trip to remember!