Whether your road trip is for an emergency family visit or a long-awaited solo vacation to a dream hot spot, taking a road trip alone is something you need to prepare for. The key is planning ahead of time so that you know where you’re going and what you’re doing at the travel destinations on your trip. You also need to prepare your car for its trip ahead by making sure its maintenance level is up to the task of getting you there safely.
In this post, we’ll look at five key ways you should prepare for your lone wolf road trip. Even though it may not seem like a big deal, checking off these easy steps can go a long way in making your road trip safer and more fun.
1. Have Preventative Vehicle Maintenance Done
If you’re planning to put a ton of new mileage on your vehicle during a road trip but you haven’t had maintenance done in a long time, it’s a good idea to bring your vehicle in for preventative maintenance before you go. Have it checked for its requirements based on its current maintenance schedule. You may need an oil change, fluid transmission change or another maintenance item. Getting it done can help prevent breakdowns and ensure your car is ready to drive smoothly on the road for your trip.
2. Have an Extended Vehicle Warranty
If you have a used car service contract or you’ve invested in an extended car warranty plan, then repair costs will be covered if anything happens while you’re on the road. If your one to three year auto warranty ended, you’re now in the three to five year zone in which most cars require more maintenance and repairs than they did in their initial three years. If you aren’t covered by an extended warranty, you’ll end up spending a lot of money to maintain your car as it ages, which may start to affect its affordability.
3. Create a Plan
Make your road trip worthwhile by making sure you fit in everything you want to do and make every stop you want to make along the way. Write down the activities you want to do and places you want to go. Who do you plan to stop and visit with, if you’re seeing friends or family members? What do you plan to do each day of your trip? Write down your activities in your planner or on a calendar. Consider an app like Roadtrippers to help you plan out your adventures along the way.
Don’t forget to plan your route for getting here you want to go to accomplish your planned activities on your trip. If the road in your destination is new territory for you, it helps to look at a map ahead of time or look at the directions and know which roads you’ll be taking so that you’re not spending too much time navigating during your trip (or getting lost).
4. Know What to Pack
Always write out a packing list and try to think of everything to add before you start packing. Once you start packing, check the items off your list as you go, so that you know what you’ve already packed. Include safety items like a first aid kit, flashlight, emergency gear required depending on your geographic location and the season of your road trip (such as gear to endure cold temperatures if you run out of gas or your car breaks down in the cold).
5. Tell People Where You’re Going
If you’re visiting anyone along the way or at your destination, make sure you tell them ahead of time when they should plan to see you show up. Before you leave, tell your closest friends and family members at home that you’re going on a solo road trip and let them know where you’ll be. If you want, you can even use an app that lets them track your phone’s location on their phone so they can see if you’re on your planned route as you go.
Your Next Solo Road Trip Awaits
Preparation helps you avoid common hiccups that arise during road trips when you aren’t prepared, like forgetting to pack something important, or making a wrong turn on the road that sets you back a couple of hours. Taking the time to prepare as much as possible ahead of time will make your road trip safer and more successful.