Are you ready for your next adventure? In the heat of summer, we just want to pack up and disappear for a couple of weeks. Exploring the country from the East to the West Coast is a dream many of us have. Let’s make that dream a reality and go on a road trip.
However, before you leave, take a few minutes to read this blog post.
Nothing is more important than safety when you leave on a road trip. For that reason, you need to prepare for… well, everything. It is best to be ready even for unexpected things. While the perfect road trip may not exist, with the correct road trip checklist we can set the grounds to come close.
All the road trip questions you seek answers to are here, from your packing list to your car tires.
Road Trip Packing List
Whether you are going on your first college road trip or are a trained veteran with family road trips, packing will always be the first step. But, what will you actually need?
Clothing-wise, check your destination. No need to bring a bathing suit if you won’t see water, but packing extra layers is always a good idea. Even during summer, nights can get cold in some states, especially if you are spending the night in a tent or car. Most importantly, take comfortable clothes. You can be stylish, but remember the hours you will have to spend traveling in your car.
Food and Water
Food and water should be the next on the list!
It is safe to say that you won’t be cooking gourmet dinners on a road trip. However, snacks, sandwiches, and light lunches should be packed. Restaurants aren’t always available and living on gas station snacks isn’t exactly the best choice either.
Water may be even more crucial. Even with the AC running in the car, you will need to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Water bottles take up too much space. The best would be to get a couple of gallon bottles and reusable water bottles (which you can keep on your person at all times). This way, you can explore on the road trip without dehydrating – this is also a general summer safety tip, not just a road trip one.
Equip your vehicle with an emergency kit before you leave. Emergency kits provide the necessary objects you may reach for in an emergency. They usually have blankets, first aid kits, reflective vests, reflective triangles, and flashlights that help you out when you have a problem.
Purchasing a first-aid kit is also a good idea. Accidents can happen and you can get injured. To treat smaller injuries, like cuts, a first-aid kit will have the tools you will need.
Things to Do in the Car on a Road Trip
Road trips are about having fun! But when you are stuck in the car for hours, all joy may leave you. To prevent this, think up some easy ways to entertain you, your passengers, and your small children if you are traveling with them.
Road trip trivia is one of the best ways to spend time. If you do not have a trivia game laying at home, get some questions off the internet. Choose topics all of you are interested in and see who knows more!
For book lovers, putting on an audiobook is also an excellent choice. Choose a book you all wish to read and listen to it while you leave the miles behind. Or write a funny story with mad libs. Nowadays they are available with different topics, you are sure to find the one you like.
At the beginning of the road trip, you can also make a bucket list! Write up things your team wishes to do or experience by the end of the trip. See who finishes their list first.
If all else fails, classic games (I Spy) and listening to your favorite tunes (and singing along) are sure to fill up the time. They are essential on any family road trip.
Depending on your destination, you will need to pack a few extra things. Are you planning a hiking-filled road trip in Utah? Bring bug spray! To be honest, bring bug repellant either way. And sunscreen, do NOT forget the sunscreen.
If you are driving through mountains, it is best to get a map. They don’t have to be traditional maps, just download the routes as GPS and cellphone services, including Google Maps, can fail when the foliage is denser above you. With these, your essential road trip packing list is done.
Safety on the Road
Remember, during road trips you are driving for long periods of time. Unfortunately, road trip holidays are like this. Therefore, it is important to follow the law.
A safe speed to drive your car is always the speed limit. Do not exceed the speed limit! In fact, if you feel the need, slow down a bit. A lot of vehicles nowadays are equipped with cruise control, which will make your life, or at least road trip driving, easier.
Another one of the most valuable driving tips is that if you feel drowsy or tired, stop for a bit or change drivers. Distractions should also be put to the side. Do not use your phone or mess with the GPS when driving and, if possible, prevent children from screaming in your ear (this will not be an issue on a college road trip, hopefully). Take a break whenever you need to and be safe.
Keep your eyes on the entire road, not just the section visible in front of the car. Looking only at the front of the car, you will not be able to notice upcoming hazards in time. These road hazards can lead to accidents or tire flats that can potentially put your life in danger.
Scan the sides of the road for wildlife that may jump out. If oncoming headlights bother you, do not close your eyes. Your peripheral vision will help you out. In such instances divert your eyes to the lower right shoulder of the road.
How Frequently Should You Take Breaks when Driving Long Distances?
You should take breaks every two to three hours. If you have a second driver, change who is driving at the same intervals. This will allow you to stretch your legs, eat and drink something, and rest a bit before sitting behind the steering wheel once more.
Tire Safety Tips
Road trip essentials also include your tires. While a West Coast road trip is different from an East Coast one, you will still need to take care of the tires mounted on your vehicle.
When planning your next driving quest think of the terrain your vehicle needs to conquer. Rocky terrains, flat fields, and deserts all need different tire types. Therefore, you should plan things out.
The perfect road trip does not end with the tires losing traction. Even if you do not equip the vehicle with summer tires, the ones you get should be fit for the terrain. However, once you have the correct tires, you still need to take care of them.
Tire-related summer safety tips should also be looked at.
The air pressure should be checked regularly. The tires should be kept at the correct tire pressure levels in order to securely perform. Things should not be different during the road trip either. Driving on a flat tire is never ideal.
To see the PSI levels the car needs, take a look at its owner’s manual. Keep in mind that tires can lose air pressure because of temperature changes. Use opportunities at gas stations to check air pressure levels in all four tires, in order to prevent possible issues.
Tire blowouts are another big issue road trippers have to face. There are different reasons why a tire blowout happens. One reason reaches back to the tire pressure levels, as low pressure can be a cause. Other reasons include overloading the tires, exceeding their speed limit, potholes, and versatile types of damage.
While a tire blowout often cannot be prevented, there are still a few things you can do to minimize their possibility.
Before you leave on your road trip, take a look at the spare tire. Whether you have a donut or a full-sized spare doesn’t matter. What is important is to make sure your fifth tire is in good shape.
There is nothing worse than opening the trunk, taking out the spare tire, and realizing that it cannot help you when you need it the most.
Best Summer Tires for Road Trips
You can find excellent quality summer tires at Priority Tire. Depending on your road trip destination, you can get touring, performance, or even all terrain tires that will offer the summer driving safety you need.
The best summer tires provide great traction in dry and wet weather conditions, while also avoiding hydroplaning as well. They ensure excellent controllability and maneuvering, with most even offering high performance durability. Therefore, when looking for summer tires, stop by Priority Tire and see what we have to offer!