How to Prepare Your Car for the Road Trip of a Lifetime

This week I have a returning guest author posting that I think will help everyone a little in the year ahead as the world starts opening again for travel!

I think this topic is quite interesting (for at least the United States) based on the travel and vacation interest that skyrocketed last weekend due to three factors (IMHO):

  1. The reduced infections of COVID-19 across most states in the US
  2. The high vaccination rate of adults in the US
  3. Most cities and attractions opening back up again and no longer in lockdown
  4. The immense urge and need for vacation after a year of WFH and no travel
Photo credit: Pixabay

There’s nothing more exciting than hitting the road for an extensive road trip. With endless possibilities on the horizon and an unbridled sense of freedom, many people list this experience at the top of their bucket list. While it’s easy to get carried away by the more interesting parts of the trip, there’s one major logistical aspect that must be addressed: transportation. Even the most capable of cars will need to undergo some changes before tackling such an epic adventure. Here are some tips for preparing your car for the road trip of a lifetime.

Double-Check Your Car Insurance Coverage

Before hitting the road, you need to double-check your car insurance to see how long it lasts and what it covers. If you’ve been with the same provider for many years, it might be the right time to shop around for something more affordable. You’ll want to find companies that have been around for a while with positive reviews from customers. For example, State Farm has an A++ rating, was founded in 1922, and enjoys an 18 percent market share. Additionally, Allstate has an A+ rating, was founded in 1931, and has an 11 percent market share. Reviewing multiple companies is a great way to find the best coverage for your road trip.

Take Your Car In for a Professional Inspection

Unless you’ve recently purchased a brand-new vehicle, it’s important to receive a professional inspection to catch any current problems with your car. You don’t want a pre-existing issue to stall your road trip after just a few days. Most maintenance shops should be willing to do a quick inspection for a reasonable rate. Make sure to tell them about your plan for an extended road trip as there may be some parts of your car that are particularly sensitive to prolonged use. Inspecting these parts is especially important to ensure they’re prepared for the long haul.

Replace Your Brakes, Headlights, and Tail Lights

You don’t need a professional inspection to know that your brakes aren’t in tip-top shape or that your headlights and tail lights aren’t operating at full power. Unless you’ve just replaced each of these parts, it’s safe to assume that they’re lacking in one way or another. When taking a road trip, you should replace these items beforehand to err on the safe side. You don’t want your headlights going out in a storm or your brakes to wear down when driving through the mountains. You can greatly reduce these potential problems with fresh brakes and lights.

Load Your Car with Essential Tools and Maintenance Kits

Cars are easy to maintain when used for a few hours each day; it’s a different story when you take that same car on a long road trip. Even with the most thorough preparation beforehand, your car may still experience some mechanical issues while on the road.

To limit your chances of being stuck in the middle of nowhere, it’s important to load your car with some essential tools. For one, you’ll need jumper cables in case you experience a dead battery and a spare tire if you encounter a flat. For another, flashlights are also important for dealing with problems in the dark. But make sure that you invest in car tools and accessories that will go the distance. Take the time to consider expert recommendations, as well as maintenance tips.

Road trips place a lot of stress on even the most capable cars. In order to make sure that your trip goes smoothly, it’s important to prepare your vehicle beforehand. You should focus on increasing safety and minimizing maintenance issues along the way. Even a little preparation can make it easier to enjoy the road trip of a lifetime.

Thanks again for the tips and collaboration from Allison Morgan from

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