Whether you’re taking a vacation, moving to a new home, or driving as part of your job, a long road trip can be a fun and interesting way to view the world or an uncomfortable and monotonous form of travel. To help ensure your trip has more of the former and less of the latter, good planning and preparation are essential. Jumping in the car and heading off without checking your vehicle or packing the right supplies is a recipe for a less than successful trip, so make your road trip preparation a priority to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable journey.

Preparing your vehicle

A vehicle that takes you to work every day takes the kids to school and ferries you to the grocery store day to day may not perform as well if you suddenly head off for hundreds of miles in one go. You’ve probably seen cars broken down on the side of the road, hoods up and often steaming while the owners wait to be rescued. If you want to avoid the same thing happening to you, take the time to get your vehicle checked over before you leave. A service is a good idea, so everything can be professionally assessed and prepared, but at the least, you should check the oil, water, coolant, brake fluid, and of course the tires. Follow the guidelines in your car’s instruction manual, and make sure you have a decent depth of tread across each tire and that they are at the optimum pressure, including the spare wheel. Make sure your breakdown cover is up to date and if you don’t have any, now is the time to think about joining up. Giving the vehicle a thorough clean will ensure it is clutter-free and smells pleasant too.

What to take with you

When you’re preparing the car, check that you have the tools you’ll need for changing a wheel, plus extra water bottles. You can get a clever gadget that can help you in the event of an accident by slicing through your seatbelt and safely breaking the window glass in case you’re trapped. It’s also worth taking a breath testing gadget like the Low Cost Interlock, which can check the level of alcohol in your bloodstream. It’s easy to have a few glasses of wine at lunchtime and not realize your driving abilities have become impaired, or to think you’ve slept off last night’s beers when you haven’t. A breath testing device takes the guesswork out of driving safely after having a drink. To avoid boredom, listening to music, radio shows, or talking books can help the time pass, so make sure you pack a decent selection of CDs or have a good library on your blue tooth device. If you have passengers, there are many great traveling games you can play together without distracting the driver, and tablets or in-car entertainment systems can be invaluable, especially for kids.

Road trips don’t need to be dull and tedious, so pack your car with plenty of food, drinks, and entertainments and enjoy your journey to the full.