A successful road trip can stay with you for the rest of your life. Whether you’re driving a few hours or a few weeks, what you pack into your vehicle can make or break your trip. It’s up to you how often you stop, where you choose to end up, and how much fun you have along the way. Allow for spontaneity and a road trip can be the highlight of your summer! Consider this your road trip 101.

Open Road

The Car

If you plan to take your own car on your road trip, give it a thorough inspection before leaving. Check the tires, the fluid levels, and clear any warning lights. Detail the interior of the car yourself to save hundreds of dollars. The longer you’re in a car, the dirtier it seems to get! Use a stiff paintbrush and compressed air to clean the vents, which seem to gather the most dust. For more quick tips like this one, read on here.

The Rental

Sometimes, the best most reliable option is to rent a vehicle just for the trip. Consider how many passengers you’ll be driving and the leg room and cargo space. What type of a trip are you taking? Will you want four wheel drive, or will there be inclement weather? A road trip along the coast following the beach in a convertible with a top down sounds dreamy, but would be impractical if the plan is a trip camping in the mountains! Make sure to book early and choose unlimited mileage.

Sunset

The Directions

Map out how long it will take you to get to your first destination, and then leave room to explore. Bring along a paper map and go off the grid. Check the lesser known highways and scenic routes. Stop at all the scenic viewpoints. If you see a river close to your road, pull over! Allow for time to enjoy the journey.

The Tunes

Make several play lists for the road! You might want to listen to upbeat, fun music as you start your journey, then more mellow music as you stay with your thoughts on the drive. If you have a passenger, have them be in charge of the radio and find local stations. The music played on radio is often different than what you’d pick on your playlists and is especially fun to find a nostalgic Oldies station!

The Gear

Keep a cooler somewhere in the car filled with easy but filling food. Think: protein bars, peanut butter, and cheese. Make sure you have at least a gallon of water per person, especially if you plan to go off the grid and away from towns. If you have room for it, bring along a gallon of gasoline and a portable air compressor for any potential flat tires. If you plan to sleep in your vehicle, check out this awesome car hammock that saves space and money on a hotel room!

Stay safe as you explore this beautiful world we live in! It was made for you and you were made for it. Happy driving!