There are countless reasons for taking a road trip. It’s been estimated that approximately 85% of the vacations Americans take are domestic, occurring within our country’s borders, and many of these vacations are road trips. It can be a great way to relieve the stress you may have built up during your regular day-to-day life, whether you’re escaping for a short three-day weekend or a more comprehensive trip of several weeks or more.

Road trips can provide great adventure and are an ideal way to experience the wonderful sights and different local cultures found in the US. One important aspect, however, is involved even before you leave, and that’s the steps you take preparing for a road trip. As has been said many times in the past – “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.”

Proper Preparation

While taking a short two- or three-day road trip may not involve as much preparation as going for a week or two, there are certain things you need to address regardless of how long you plan to be gone. One of these is proper documentation. You need to make sure your driver’s license and vehicle registration are current and that the proper documentation is available while driving your vehicle. This includes your auto insurance card, which proves you have the required auto insurance currently in force.

You may also want to consider signing up for a roadside assistance plan if you don’t already have one in place, especially for longer trips and if your vehicle is an older model. Make sure your cellular phone is charged and that you have a way of charging it when the battery runs low. Solar-powered chargers are great for road trips.

Vehicle Preparation

By far, the most important aspect of preparing for a road trip is ensuring that your vehicle is in proper running order. DIY’ers can handle most needs themselves, but some things may require the attention of a professional, so give yourself plenty of time to get everything done. Here are some items to put on your list:

  1. Check your tires for sufficient tread depth and proper air pressure. Don’t forget the spare
  2. Check all lights for proper operation and replace bulbs as needed
  3. Check motor oil and top off or replace as needed
  4. Make sure your battery is charged and has clean poles
  5. Check and top off all fluids

There’s lots more to consider. Read more here.