Blog Road Trips Tips For Your Holiday Road Trip
Road Trips

Tips For Your Holiday Road Trip

Looking for a mechanic near you for maintenance or repair? AutoNation Mobile Service brings the shop to you. Get a free instant quote today.
Get a Quote

Last year, when the world still seemed normal, we wrote a comprehensive guide packed full of tips for a successful holiday road trip. But in 2020, how we travel has changed completely. International trips are looking like an impossible goal as passport holders choose destinations that are closer to home. Instead, many have discovered and rediscovered America’s best landscapes, beaches, and cultural hotspots, and rekindled their love for the great American road trip.

Related content:

Fall Car Care Tips: Preparing Your Car for the Changing Seasons

Road Tripping Post Pandemic: Your Safety Checklist

How to Choose the Right RV Rental for Your Next Road Trip

How to Road Trip with Pets

18 Winter Road Trip Essentials

How To Plan A Safe Roadtrip

In the current climate, being safe is more of a priority than ever before. You must consider your safety not only on the road, but also during rest stops and overnight stays. Consider your health and that of your passengers, especially if they are deemed to be at an increased risk of COVID-19 related illness.

Planning and preparation will help to minimize risk, starting with your destination. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes an updated map detailing COVID-19 hotspots on their website, which you can view by clicking here.

The CDC has advised that stopping for gas, restroom breaks, or food increases the risk of coming into contact with other people and potentially contaminated surfaces. To minimize this risk, assume anything that you have to touch has been handled recently and will need to be cleaned with a sanitizing wipe. Masks and hand sanitizer should be used appropriately.

Packing For Your Road Trip

Here is a list of essentials to get you started:

Use Technology To Your Advantage

Using a fold-out map may induce a dose of nostalgia, but along with navigation, your smartphone can make a road trip much more interesting. These are our favorite apps that can assist you and keep passengers entertained and make a road trip more enjoyable.

Prepping Your Vehicle

If your car has a weakness or isn’t performing at its best, traveling hundreds of miles in a single trip can potentially expose it. It’s no fun when you break down not far from home, but being hours away in an unfamiliar location can test anyone’s patience. You can avoid a roadside breakdown by preparing your car and doing some checks before you hit the road.

Admittedly, the following list is quite comprehensive and may even appear daunting. For those who aren’t feeling particularly handy, asking your mechanic to get your car ‘road trip ready’ is a simple and inexpensive way to reduce the chance of breaking down.

Our previous article on Tips For Your Holiday Road Trip had a dedicated section on how to prepare your car for the miles ahead, but given the boom in popularity of road tripping in 2020, we’ve expanded it into a much more comprehensive guide.

Important: Always proceed with caution when checking your engine as fluids can be hot, pressurized, or corrosive.

Vehicle Checklist

In Case Of Breakdown

Even the best-laid plans can go astray, and a well-cared-for vehicle can break down unexpectedly. You can buy an emergency breakdown kit that comes prepackaged. But in most cases, it’s cheaper, and a better option, to consider what you may need in an emergency breakdown situation and put an emergency breakdown kit together yourself.

Some components you may want to include are materials to tow your vehicle such as a tow strap. You should familiarize yourself with how to safely prepare a vehicle to be towed, including the regulations in the states you’ll be traveling

Another common problem that you may encounter is a flat tire. If you’ve never changed a tire, the best time to learn is before you leave home. You should also check the condition of your spare tire, or if you don’t have a spare tire, ensure you know how to use your run-flat kit, check you’ve packed a wheel brace, and learn how to use an air compressor to inflate a tire to the correct psi.

You may also want to include some general multipurpose tools such as a utility knife, Philips and flathead screwdriver, adjustable wrench, pliers, cable ties, and electrical tape. If you don’t know your way around an engine, be sure to have a plan for roadside assistance, and pack some emergency supplies like an emergency blanket, first aid kit, snacks, and drinkable water.

AutoNation Mobile Service Can Help

Preparing your family for a road trip can be difficult enough without the added stress of making sure your vehicle is up to par. Our expert mechanics can come to your home or office and check your car to make sure you don’t get caught in the middle of nowhere and reach your destination safely.