The Anatomy of Healthy Cars: A Service and Repair Blog

What You Should Do Before Taking a Long Road Trip

by Brittany Marshall

If you are planning on taking a long road trip soon, there are some things you need to do first. The following tips cover everything from making sure your car can handle the trip to keeping your passengers occupied.

Make Hotel Reservations Ahead of Time

For the longer road trips, you are going to need to make stops so you can sleep overnight without having to camp out in your vehicle. While you are planning your road trip, try to make hotel reservations in areas where you intend to stop overnight. This does require some careful planning and knowing about what town you will be at during certain times of the evening. It is a good idea to choose hotels with a more flexible cancellation policy just in case you're not there in time and end up finding a room elsewhere. However, having some reservations now is good just in case you're traveling during a time when hotels fill up fast. Having reservations can also help reduce how much you pay for your room.

Have Your Car Serviced

No matter how new your vehicle is, you need to make sure it is ready to handle the long trip. There could be issues with the engine or transmission that you had no idea about, which would pose a major problem when you get on the road. A good thing to do before you get started on your trip is to go to your mechanic to have your car serviced and inspected. This allows you to get a tune-up and oil change, rotate the tires, get new fluids, and look for any repairs that need to be done before you take your car out.

Bring Enough items For the Kids

Road trips with kids can be a lot of fun, but they can also be miserable. Make sure you prepare for all of their needs beforehand to avoid any issues during the trip. Start by making sure you have plenty of bottled water and snacks in the car at all times. They are going to get hungry and might not want to wait until you find somewhere to stop and eat. Aside from snacks, you should also have enough different forms of entertainment in the car during the trip. Don't just rely on their electronic devices or handheld video games, as they might tire of them quickly. Also bring along other games, a portable DVD player for movies, and anything else your kids like to play with to keep them occupied.

Put Money On Prepaid Credit Cards

It is extremely stressful if there is an issue with your debit or credit card when you are on a road trip. You rely on your card for everything from hotel stays to gas and food. On the trip, you might end up using your card more often than usual, which could cause an alert to go up at your bank, putting a hold on the card. If this happens, it is good to have backup money just in case. Instead of bringing loads of cash with you, consider getting a few different prepaid credit cards as a backup.