Written and Contributed by Jesse Clark
Whether you’re traveling to NYC or heading out to a national park, preparing for a road trip requires a bit of planning, both for the trip itself and for everything you’re leaving behind. Ensuring your car is in great shape, packing smart, and thinking ahead to prevent emergencies are all part of the to-do list, so it’s important to get organized early on.
It’s also crucial to prep your home so that you’ll have peace of mind while you’re gone, especially if the trip will keep you away for several days. Whether you want to find a house sitter or install a new security system, taking steps to keep your home safe will reduce stress so you can fully enjoy your trip. Ready to get started? Use these tips from TravelWise as a guide.
Secure Your House
Making your home more secure while you’re away will not only give you peace of mind that it’s safe against would-be burglars, but it can also improve the value of your property. If you think you might sell in the near future, adding things like a security system or surveillance cameras can help attract buyers and boost the sale price, so choose a quality system and be sure to save receipts. Take before and after photos as well; this way, you can show the changes you made.
Prepare Your Car and Insurance Documents
Auto Care Plus notes that taking a road trip also means you’ll need to make sure your car is in great shape, so it’s a good idea to have the oil changed beforehand. Typically, the fluids, wipers, and tires are also checked during this process, which will provide some relief once you’re on the road and will prevent costly issues you’d rather not deal with on vacation. You’ll also want to ensure that your registration, title, and proof of insurance are kept together in a safe spot inside the car.
If it’s been a while since you purchased car insurance, go over your policy to make sure you have the best one available. While the cost of auto insurance varies depending on the type of vehicle you drive, the age of the car, and the number of insured drivers who are included in the policy, there may be a cheaper option available that will still give you the coverage you need.
It’s also a good idea to digitize your important documents and save them on your devices. That way, if and when you need them, they’re sure to be available. There are also plenty of apps you can use to make any edits or adjustments that are necessary. If you’re looking for a free one with great reviews, you can try this!
Once your car is taken care of, you can start the packing process. Depending on the activities you’ll be doing on the trip, you may need to gather all of your supplies first and then make sure you have room in the car or truck before loading up. Camping, fishing, and hiking are wonderful pastimes to engage in during a road trip, but they all require their own gear, so make a checklist of everything you need before packing up. Include safety items such as a first aid kit, and if you’re bringing along your pets, pack for them, as well. Many campers prefer to rent an RV or van, as this provides ample room for all the equipment while ensuring that the travelers are comfortable on the ride.
Plan for the Unexpected
While no one has a crystal ball, it’s important to try and plan for the unexpected during your trip. If you’ll be camping, for instance, Drivin’ & Vibin’ points out that you’ll want to make sure you do some research on the area and map out each spot you’re going to visit. Let a close friend or loved one at home know where you’ll be. Bring along a car charger for your phone and a battery charger for your car. Stay on top of the forecast to make sure you aren’t heading into a storm front at the campgrounds.
Taking a road trip takes quite a bit of preparation, but the process doesn’t need to be stressful. By planning ahead for your activities, securing your home, digitizing your important documents, and ensuring that you’re protected with the best possible insurance policy, you can give yourself peace of mind and enjoy the ride.
Photo via Pexels
Gary de Sesa & Kita de Sesa are travel agents and owners of Gary D Travel. Contact us at 516-300-9924 or
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