A road trip lets you see the sites around you on a budget and without the schedule constraints of air travel. Before you set out on the open road, make sure that your car is up to the task, and pack cash, a camera, and printouts of important info. According to AAA, you also should research the laws on turning right on red and the legal speed limit in states you’ll pass through.
Get a Vehicle Inspection
Take your ride to a mechanic for a thorough inspection. Check that the brake pads and tires have plenty of wear left and that you have a spare tire in case of flats. If you can’t do basic maintenance, choose a roadside service plan so you don’t get stuck in unfamiliar territory. While you’re at the mechanic, pick up essentials like windshield wiper fluid.
Print out Important Paperwork
With important documents easily accessible on your phone or tablet, you might think that’s all you need. However, paper copies will serve you well if you find yourself with a dead charging cable or car battery. There are many areas of the country with little to no cell phone service and data coverage, so having your proof of insurance, copies of your ID cards, and photocopies of both sides of your bank or credit cards could be important.
Bring Alternate Forms of Currency
Gas stations and convenience stores can be very widely spaced apart, and you don’t want to be stranded if the only gas station for miles can’t take a card. Keep at least enough cash in your vehicle to pay for a tank of gas. Gift cards for major chain restaurants, drug stores, and convenience stores offer another way to get what you need on the road.
Pack a Sturdy Camera
A camera is a must for capturing the exciting things you’ll see. Consider a model that is resistant to damage, especially if you want to take photographs from a moving vehicle. A camera is also useful for safety and record keeping. For example, if you are in a collision, you can use it to take pictures to share with your insurer or a car or motorcycle accident attorney.
With a little preparation, your road trip will be a memorable experience. Keep your vehicle in good repair and plan for limited cell service and unexpected events to ensure a safe and fun time.