A Beginner’s Guide to Preparing for a Cross-Country Road Trip

Road trip

There are few things that are as good as hopping in the car with the whole family, zooming along the freeway, and hitting the wide, open roads. Road trips, especially those that go all the way across the country, are a family vacation that you’ll never forget.

Here, we’ll provide a beginner’s guide to preparing for a cross-country road trip. With these tips, you’ll be sure to have a successful getaway!

Get Your Car Ready

Before your road trip, make sure you get your car checked. Road trips are fun and exciting, but they can turn from a great experience into a headache if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere.

A regular car maintenance check is highly recommended before you hit the road. A qualified mechanic will check your car’s fluids, make sure the tires and alignment are in great shape, and look at the brakes. Some car dealerships and mechanics even offer oil change specials to make it even easier to be safe on the road.

In addition to turning to a professional, educate yourself on everything there is to know about how your car works. If something happens, you should know the basics, such as how to change a tire, check the oil, or pop the hood and identify trouble.

Lastly, if you don’t feel comfortable on your cross-country road trip in your current car, you may want to consider buying or leasing a new car. Not to fear, however, dealerships across the country are offering many new car incentives, rebates, and specials.

Prepare for an Emergency

Making sure your car is well-maintained before you hit the road is the first critical step to be prepared in case an emergency does happen. The DMV shares their list of emergency items that every car should have, and it includes:

  • Cell phone
  • Cell phone charger
  • Owner’s manual
  • Jumper cables
  • Spare tire
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Emergency flares or reflectors
  • Signal flag and reflective vest
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Drinking water and non-perishable food
  • First aid kit

Know Where to Hit the Hay

A cross-country road trip includes many fun adventures, but it also includes many hours on the road. Long stretches of driving means sleepy drivers, which is why it’s important to know where you’re going to stop before you begin your road trip. While sleeping at a rest stop is everyone’s idea of luxury (or not), knowing where you’re going to crash ahead of time is invaluable on your trip. Save yourself and your family the stress of searching for accommodation by planning ahead. So when the time comes, you can just sit back, relax and focus on driving.

Even if you don’t know exactly where you’re staying, places to stop are great landmarks to mark your progress. If you know how far you have to get, it makes the trip a little easier.

Pack Plenty of Snacks

A road trip isn’t nearly complete without road trip snacks and games! Snacks are a fun way to pass the time and keep everyone satisfied. Even healthy, perishable snacks are easy to bring along when you have a portable cooler made especially for road trips.

Cross-country road trips are fun for the whole family! This guide will help even beginners get ready for their time on the road.

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