I love road trips. To me, road trips are fun and exciting, no matter why I have to take them, but regardless of how you feel about road trips, it’s always good to prepare before you embark on one.

We each have our own way to ensure we’re ready, whether it’s a packing list, a box of games, some favourite foods, or a good road trip playlist. Need to plan a long drive for the first time?

Plan Your Route and Stops Before You Leave..

You know your destination, but deciding on your route and stops can really depend on your travel style. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and stress if you map out how you’re getting to your destination before you leave.

Tools that can help:

WAZE: Waze offers voice-guided GPS navigation with turn-by-turn directions. But what’s really unique about the app is its social layer: Waze’s active community of users share real-time traffic and road information. That means it gives you a heads-up about reported obstacles on your route (e.g. road closures, accidents, police traps), and can then redirect you to your destination.

GPS: The global positioning system (GPS) is a 24-satellite navigation system that uses multiple satellite signals to find a receiver’s position on earth. A GPS navigation system is a GPS receiver and is designed for a specific purpose such as a car-based or hand-held device or a smartphone app.

But Keep Your Plans Loose

No matter how much you plan, you should expect things to go differently. Driving somewhere can cost you less money than flying there, but it still comes with hidden costs..

And Look For Ways to Save Some Cash

  • You might have a good budget in place, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still save. Fill up your car the day before you leave..
  • Keep the weight of your cargo to a minimum.
  • Drive the speed limit. Not only is it safer to drive the speed limit, but  avoiding aggressive driving can save your gas mileage anywhere from 5% in town to 33% on the highway.
  • Your second biggest cost is food. The best options are things that can be pre-cooked and keep well or food that doesn’t require cooking at all.
  • By packing yourself, you get to control the nutrition of you and your family.
  • Plus, having the flexibility to keep going when you finally get the little one to sleep is priceless.

Make Sure Your Ride is Ready…

In the weeks leading up to your adventure, you need to make sure that your vehicle is in good condition.

  • Make sure all of the scheduled, preventative maintenance you need to have done on your vehicle is taken care of.
  • Last but not least, make sure you have all the proper tools you need to change a flat in your trunk, and that you’re spare tire is ready to rumble.

And Pack Your Car like a Pro

Okay, you’ve got your route set, your budget planned out, and your car ready to breath the air of the open road.

It might seem more organized to pack all of one type of thing in one bag and another type of thing in another, but you’ll have more room for necessities if you put as many things together as you can.

It is always handy when you pack the clothes you’ll need at your first stop at the top, and have an emergency set of clothing ready for easy access.