How to Plan for a Long Car Trip

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Long car trips can be fun, but they can also be very tiring and expensive. This is why it’s important to have a plan in place to help you anticipate how much time and money you need to spend.

Lots of people go on long rides for fun. As they say, “getting there is half the fun.” If you have enough time and money to spend, you can be as leisurely as you want. You can even go on side trips to check out some sights off the beaten path. However, this is not the case for those who need to travel with time and budget restraints.

If you’re planning on taking a long car trip, here are some tips to help your journey go smoothly:

How to Plan for a Long Car Trip

Know how much of everything you need

When it comes to clothes and other necessities, you need to know how long you’ll be on the road. For this, you can use the Drive Time Calculator.

This calculator gives you fairly accurate information on how long your drive will be. It takes into account the variables that go into a long drive, as well as how long each break will take. This is important as many people neglect to factor in the length of each break. If the calculator says you’ll be on the road for 2 days or more, consider packing at least 2 days’ worth of clothing, toiletries, and money for food.

The Drive Time Calculator also considers the fuel economy of your vehicle and how much the total trip will cost. This will help you and your companions plan ahead when it comes to how much each passenger must contribute to the trip.

All packed with room to spare!

Get your vehicle ready for a long trip

Before going on a road trip, make sure to get your vehicle checked. Check under the hood for any fluids your car might need such as oil and coolants. Fill your tires to the recommended level. In line with this, get any leaks patched up by a technician. Ensure that the lights, wipers, brakes, drive belts, and all the vehicle’s other accessories work. Lastly, always have a spare tire, fluids, and tools in the trunk. You never know when you’ll need them for an emergency!
Prepare your vehicle, including tire pressure. From How to Plan for a Long Car Trip

Check for alternate routes

While navigation apps can give you instructions on the fly, you should also have some idea of the alternate routes you might need to take. You never know when a road might be blocked or closed, so it’s important to have some idea of other routes you need to take and how to plan for those. It’s also a good idea to have a physical map on hand in case your navigation apps malfunction.
Check for alternate routes! From How to Plan for a Long Car Trip

Get some rest

Long drives can take its toll on you whether you’re the driver or a passenger. So before you set out, aim to get as much rest as possible. This will help you prevent the aches and pains associated with sitting in a vehicle for hours on end. Also, while it’s okay to take a nap, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the views during your trip, right?
Toddler sleeping in car. From How to Plan for a Long Car Trip