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Spring Break Road Trip: 8 Essential Tips

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Springtime signals warmer days and cheerier moods. With the sun out, a road trip is a fun way to shrug off the last of winter’s gloom.

However, road-tripping isn’t just a matter of packing a bag and taking off at the next highway exit. While spontaneous adventure can be exciting, a successful road trip does require a wee bit of planning. 

Already throwing your hands in the air?

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. 
Here’s a list of essentials for your road trip so you don’t get stranded in a strange field with only a bottle of water and a packet of chips to tide you over the night. 

1. Map Out Your Route

Decide where you want to go, even if that’s just a direction and not any particular town. This way, you can plan rest stops for relaxation and exploration. You’ll need those breaks to stretch your legs. 

Plan for unexpected traffic delays — consider taking scenic back roads for added spontaneity. You never know what gorgeous views you might find on the road less traveled.

2. Pack the Important Stuff

When packing for your spring break, ask yourself: What can’t I go without?

This should help you figure out what stuff you absolutely must bring. It’s the little things that make a big difference, like sunscreen and a hat for exceptionally sunny days. 

Remember to pack your prescription meds and medical supplies for peace of mind. Toss in some travel-sized toiletries and hand sanitizer for freshness on the go. And don’t leave home without some bare cash for tolls, vending machines, or places that don’t accept cards. 

3. Throw in Comfort Items

After figuring out your essential items, you can add the extras for comfort.  

Load a cooler with your favorite snacks and drinks to stave off those hunger pangs. This could be a lifesaver if you’re delayed and can’t reach your next rest stop in time for lunch. 

Pack plush travel pillows and blankets for your passengers during those long stretches of road. And remember to stay hydrated with reusable water bottles or hydration packs. With these comfort items by your side, you’ll be sure to make this journey as cozy as possible.

4. Don’t Forget Your Travel Tech

Your GPS device or smartphone will be your lifeline for navigating unfamiliar roads and avoiding pesky traffic jams. And while technology is great, it’s always wise to have a backup plan, so toss in a road map just in case.

Keep your devices charged and ready for action with a portable charger or power bank. A camera (or the one in your smartphone) will help you capture memories every step of the way. If you’re into capturing video footage, a gimbal will give you those smooth, shake-free shots.

5. Add Some Entertainment for the Road

You’ll be cooped up in a car often, so some entertainment is needed to while away the hours. 

Curate the ultimate road trip playlist with your favorite tunes and sing-along classics. Or dive into a podcast series that will keep your ears diverted (not your eyes) with each episode. 

For some interactive fun, pack travel games or books to entertain passengers and keep boredom at bay. 

6. Check Your Car Documentation and Roadside Assistance Card

Double-check all your car documents, from registration to insurance, making sure everything is in order and readily accessible. And don’t forget your roadside assistance card — ensure your membership is up-to-date. You never know when you might need a helping hand. 

7. Include Safety and Emergency Gear

Safety should always be a top priority when embarking on any road trip. Pack a comprehensive first aid kit stocked with essentials to handle any minor mishaps along the way. Keep reflective triangles or flares handy to ensure you’re visible in case of roadside emergencies. A flashlight would be invaluable in the event of a nighttime breakdown. 

A tire pressure gauge will help you keep an eye on your tire’s health, especially if your car doesn’t have built-in TPMS sensors. Ensure your basic car tools (jack, lug wrench, screwdriver) are in good condition. 

Also, consider packing a set of jumper cables in case an engine startup issue crops up. 

8. Make Sure Your Car is Road Trip Ready

Before you rev up the engine and hit the road, take a moment to ensure your car is in tip-top condition for the trip: 

If you need help prepping your vehicle for your trip, get in touch with AutoNation Mobile Service, and our expert technicians will drop by to give your car a once-over.