Preparing For A Long Road Trip: What You Need To Know

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Preparing for a long road trip doesn’t have to be a long process. In just a few simple steps, you can be organized and ready to go, and be safe at the same time. What you need to know to get you on the road to your next adventure.

Preparing for a long road trip what you need to know to go

There is nothing more exciting than heading off on a new adventure with the family, and taking a long road trip is no exception. I usually spend a lot of time planning out our trip and always look for the best travel trips before we go. Today I am sharing my best ones if you plan on heading out by car.

Preparing For A Long Road Trip Doesn’t Have To Take Long

Before you start to panic about making such a lengthy trip, take a moment to breath and make a plan. Now, grab a pen and a journal, and start making some lists. Things to consider:

  • Decide on your destination.
  • Plan for your time away by arranging for house or pet-sitters.
  • Will you use your own car or rent a car?
  • Who is going to do the driving? How many people will be in the car?
  • Figure out how much luggage you may need.
  • Can you afford the gas for the trip or have extras in case your vehicle breaks down?

By taking the time to plan ahead (and I mean as far ahead as possible), you will not become overwhelmed and potentially forget an important step.

planning for a long road trip

What Is Considered A Long Road Trip?

I laugh every time someone asks me this question, because it varies by person. A long trip can be considered anything over 6 hours to several days or weeks. So, preparing for a long road trip depends on where your destination lies. Are you visiting family? Going on vacation? Scouting for a new place to live?

Preparing Your Car For A Long Road Trip

Making sure your car is ready to go before you leave is a very important thing. Whether you are taking your own car or renting, make sure your car is safe and up to a long road trip. Things to consider:

  • Is your inspection and insurance up to date?
  • Have your tires been checked and rotated?
  • When was the last time you had your car battery checked?
  • Has your oil been changed and your fluids topped off?

I can’t stress how important it is to consult your mechanic before you turn the key and head off to your next adventure.

mechanic preparing car for a long road trip

How Often Should You Let Your Car Rest On A Road Trip?

The experts say that for every 2 hours of driving, you should rest your car for 15 minutes. However, stopping every 2 hours is not usually something most road trip families can do because of where they are headed. If you have done all the safety preparation on your car before leaving, I usually say resting the car every 4-5 hours should be fine.

Of course, you want to pay attention to how your car is responding to your driving and go from there. If something seems remotely off, make sure you stop and check it out.

How Often Should You Stop On A Road Trip?

Medical experts say that you should stop every 2 hours to rest your eyes and your reflexes. But sometimes that just isn’t possible. If you are used to driving long distances, let your body be your guide as to when you are ready to stop.

My absolute #1 hack for finding the perfect place to stop on a road trip: The Next Exit series made by Mark Watson

Of course, if you are traveling with young children or you have pets in the car, they will most likely be the ones that are dictating when you need to stop. When in doubt, take 10 minutes and stop at a convenient spot that works for everyone.

Another side note about the Next Exit Book: it is a great resource for local hospitals in just about every major road and city in the US! I also recommend looking up local emergency clinics along your route in case of minor medical problems that don’t require an emergency room or hospital visit. Take time before you go to check your health insurance policy about travel insurance or you may want to invest in getting a plan that will cover your family no matter where you are.

When Taking A Long Road Trip Plan Rest Stops

Knowing your route that you are driving will help you decide where to make planned rest stops. When we drove to Florida, our son was visiting colleges, and they were the focus of our rest stops. I made sure to book hotels within a reasonable distance so that once we were done, we could be finished driving for the day. It gave us, and the car, the much-needed breaks necessary for safe driving.

rest stop for a long road trip

Preparing for a long road trip doesn’t need to be a chore. By planning ahead you will maximize your enjoyment on your trip because you have done everything you could to make the car trip safe and enjoyable for everyone.

More Travel Resources You Will Find Useful

staying safe during hotel stay
ultimate post vacation guide
Unpacking from vacation made simple

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  1. Some great tips! I’m hoping to head out on a road trip with my daughter this summer – a trip around Europe and see where the road takes us, so really appreciate these reminders! Sim x #SSPS

    1. I have never been to Europe, I am more of a beachy Caribbean lady. I hope you have an amazing time, and thanks so much for stopping in!

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