These 7 Road Trip Tips have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I love a road trip! Last year, the Mister and I criss-crossed the country, traveling from Los Angeles to North Carolina then up to Chicago and returning to Los Angeles via Route 66. This year, we’ve got a couple of small California road trips planned, but no matter the mileage, the preparation is always the same and I’ve got 7 Road Trip Tips to share with you today!
1. Sign up for Roadside Assistance
Signing up for a roadside assistance service is always a good idea before a road trip. You don’t want a flat tire, a dead battery, or keys locked inside the car to ruin your road trip. Some new cars come with their own roadside assistance for a set number of years, some insurance companies offer roadside assistance, and, of course, there is also AAA. When choosing a roadside service, some things to consider include cost, towing destination (closest available or up to 100 miles), service call limitations (how many times can you use the service in 1 year), vehicle eligibility (Is your RV covered?), service availability (all states, and Canada, or Mexico?), and extras (such as discounts and maps).
2. Download Music, Make a Playlist, Download Apps
Maybe music should have been #1 on this list because if you don’t have AAA, at least you’ll have some tunes to listen to while you change that tire! But seriously, a road trip just isn’t a road trip without some good music. I’ve got my 15 Essential Songs for your road trip playlist right here for you!
3. Oil Change
Another important necessity is making sure your car is in tip top shape. If your car is due to go into the shop, by all means, take it in before that long road trip! But if you just need an oil change, then I suggest taking it to one of Walmart’s Auto Care Centers! The service team will perform an oil change, check and fill all your fluids, check your headlights, taillights, signals, brake lights, and more! They give you 4 different types of oil change services to choose from with costs ranging from $26.88 to $49.88. And can I recommend using Pennzoil? With Pennzoil, it will clean out sludge lesser oils leave behind and it is designed for complete protection and will allow you to drive an extra of 550 miles per year vs. a dirty engine. And with Pennzoil, you have 3 different types of oil to choose from: Conventional, High Mileage, and Platinum. And, if you need help selecting, just ask a helpful service tech! I went with Pennzoil’s Conventional oil since my car doesn’t have high mileage, plus it is what the service tech recommended.
4. Start with a Clean Car
I know your car is just going to get dirty while on the road trip, but at least start with a clean car! Luckily, with an oil change at Walmart’s Auto Care Center, they vacuum the interior of your car and wash your windshield, so you won’t have to! I also like to remove anything extra from the car, like excess grocery bags, jackets, water bottles, etc.
5. Stock the Car with Roadtrip Essentials:
My favorite saying is, “It isn’t a road trip unless I have Corn Nuts!” When we prep for a road trip, I stock the car with the necessities (and my necessities, I mean Corn Nuts.) Since my time is important, I like that I can drop the car off at Walmart’s Auto Care Center and while the oil is being changed, I can simply pop in and do some road trip prep shopping. My necessities include Corn Nuts, beef jerky (for the Mister), a flat of bottled water, some breakfast bars, chapstick, baby wipes, sunscreen, and an electrical outlet or extension cord for charging all those phones, Kindles, and cameras in the hotel room. When I’m ready to check out, I simply check-out at the register for the auto center and pay for the oil change as well. So easy!
6. Call Your Credit Card/Bank:
Don’t forget to call and alert your bank and credit card that you will be traveling. It would suck to have them shut down your credit card due to suspicious activity and refilling a lot at gas stations will often trigger this. So before you go, just call them and alert them to your dates of travels.
7. Secure Your Home During Your Vacation:
Keep your travel plans a secret. If you wouldn’t announce that you’re going to Hawaii for two weeks to a room of strangers, then don’t do it on the Internet. I mean, did you not learn ANYTHING from Paris Hilton and the Bling Ring? Also, make sure your husband/wife/roommate/kids do the same. And I’ve got 14 more tips for you on securing your home for a vacation right here!
And I’ve got some awesome news! Pennzoil is offering an amazing giveaway! 3 lucky winners will each win a trip to one of the Richard Petty Driving Experiences (each trip valued at $1,100). Enter for a chance to win below and see the website for terms and conditions:
I gave a Richard Petty Driving Experience to my Dad for Christmas a few years ago since he’s a big NASCAR fan and I thought it would be something fun for us to do together. He loved it and we had a great time!
I’ve shared my road trip prep tips with you, but what did I miss? Let me know how you prep for a road trip in the comments!