Road trips are the best way to see the country up close and personal. Being far from home and in constant motion also comes with its own set of risks. However, if you stay alert, mind the road, and keep a few basic rules of thumb in mind, every road trip can lead to new adventures with plenty of thrills and absolutely no chills. To keep you and your passengers happy and healthy, here are several tips for staying safe on your next road trip.
Road Trip: Give the Car a Checkup
For however long you’re driving, your car will be both your transportation and part-time accommodations. Make sure it’s up to snuff and running smoothly by bringing it in for a checkup before you head out, even if it isn’t due for one. Ask for an all-points inspection and have the tires examined, filled up, and rotated if necessary. Top off all the fluids and see if the oil, transmission fluid, and others are clean and clear. Be ready to handle any road emergencies yourself, whether it’s changing a tire, bringing along an empty gas can, or making minor repairs to the engine and other parts.
Plan Your Road Trip Route
Even if you’re going somewhere you’ve been to a hundred times before, plan how you’re going to get there. Check the maps and determine if there’s any construction, obstructions, or detours along the way. Investigate all the places you intend to visit or stay at to check current prices and ensure they’ll be open when you get there. If you have specific medical issues or requirements, look for healthcare providers along your route and at your destination who can meet your needs. Your doctor should be able to provide recommendations and referrals for both.
Pack Healthy Food for the Road Trip
Worried about questionable restaurants or simply want to avoid eating too much fast food along the way? Pack a cooler and keep it stocked with quick, healthy meals like sandwiches, wraps, and other handheld menu items. Keep the snacks healthy, too. Carrots, raisins, granola, dried fruit, nuts, whole-grain muffins, and more. As for drinks, stick to water, but maybe splurge a little on some coconut water!
Don’t let most of your trip be spent in the car. Driving has its pleasures, and it’s a terrific time to talk, sing, play, and get to know your passengers better. On the other hand, being packed like sardines into a little box on wheels for hours on end isn’t good for your physical, mental, or spiritual health. One of the best tips for staying safe on your next road trip is to out on the brakes, pull over, and enjoy the outdoors. Pre-plan your rest stops and pick places of natural wonder where you can stretch out, exercise a bit, and enjoy the view before moving on.