Get your car ready to go
Check your tires and make sure they are properly inflated, wiper blades, work, fluids are topped off, air conditioning works, and hoses are in good working order. Check all your lights and turn signals. Remove any “excess” baggage to make the car lighter. Also check your spare tire and make sure it is inflated and usable. Don’t forget jumper cables and a jack.
Have an emergency kit ready and in the car
Sometimes something will happen on the road and you may need something. Pack a mini tool kit, extra cell phone charger, flares, paper towels, drinking water, first aid kit, work gloves, and nonperishable food. That way if you are stuck on the side of the road you have the essentials. Also it may be a good idea to pack an extra set of clothes just in case you have to change a tire and get the ones you are wearing messed up. It seems like a given but make sure you have a cell phone to call road side assistance, 911, or a tow truck if needed. We actually keep a prepaid cell phone in the car for emergencies. Just make sure you charge it before leaving. If you have a service such as OnStar make sure the bill is paid up and you have minutes for phone calls.
Also, please, please buy a window punch and put it in the glove box. If anything happens and you are trapped in the car this is a must needed tool to break the window and exit the vehicle. Every car should have one.
Know your way
GPS is wonderful and a great invention for road trips. It is great to be able to just enter in a destination and go. But sometimes they are not reliable. I remember one time we used the GPS in Florida and it took us to a not-so-safe neighborhood. Study your route, get to know it, and figure out stops along the way. That way if the GPS has you turned around, you will be able to figure it out. Also, bring a paper map. People used paper maps for hundreds of years and found their way. Technology is a tool, nothing more.
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