Are you feeling the pull of the open road? Enjoy food, freedom, and fun by taking a road trip across the country or within your own state! But before you go, make sure your car is ready for the trip, so you arrive at your destinations safely, securely, and happily. To help you get started, here’s how to prepare your car for a summer road trip.
Get a Checkup
Whenever you plan to hit the highway, make sure your car is up for the trip. Bring it to your mechanic or other auto service provider to have it inspected from end to end. Ensure the tires are in good shape and free from imperfections and damage to avoid flat tires or blowouts and have them inflated to the correct pressure levels. Change the oil and oil filter every 6,000 miles, especially if you’re planning to drive on the highway for long periods. Have all the other fluids topped off, too—they’re the lifeblood of the vehicle, after all. Fill up the tank and see that your car emergency kit and spare tire are ready to go to work if worse comes to worst.
Clean It Up
You can never go wrong or look bad if you give your car a good cleaning and detailing before your trip. A clean car simply runs better. Having it cleaned from top to bottom can prevent grit, grime, and oily buildup from impeding its performance. A clean car is more aerodynamic and fuel-efficient, too. You’ll appreciate driving, eating, drinking, and hanging out in a clean car!
Pack Some Snacks
Part of the fun of a road trip is the experience of trying out new foods and treats along the way at small local restaurants and roadside shacks. But sometimes, you’ll go for hours without seeing a place to stop and eat—and skip the gas station fare, trust us. Pack healthy and energy-packed snacks for the trip to and from home. Keep an ice-packed cooler of water and a bag with a selection of fresh and dried fruits, snackable veggies, peanut butter and hummus, protein-rich nuts and seeds, and the like, and a few wraps and sandwiches for a lunch stop at a place filled with natural beauty.
Plan, but Don’t Over-Plan
When you prepare your car for a summer road trip, don’t over-prepare. That may sound like a contradiction, but it’s true! Pack printed maps of your path and destination in case your directional apps don’t work, and make an itinerary for places to see and things to do. But always leave chunks of time open for exploration and discovery. Your trip will be the richer for it!