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7 Road Trip Tips: How to Prep and What to Pack

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I love a road trip! Last year, my husband 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 on How to Prep and What to Pack to share with you today!

7 Road Trip Tips - Legal Miss Sunshine

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!

Apps can also be very useful during a road trip. Some of my favorite apps include Google Maps and Roadside America (so you don’t miss seeing the World’s Largest Peach!)

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! 

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!  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.) My necessities include Corn Nuts, beef jerky (for the Mister), my Hydro Flask, 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.  Road Trip Essentials

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!Home Security


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!

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Thursday 15th of October 2015

I like your very first tip to sign up for roadside service. If you are planning to go on a long road trip it can be helpful to know that you can get help when you need it. Roadside service is really important, even if your car is currently in perfect condition. You never know what may happen.

Caleb Hart

Wednesday 29th of April 2015

I think it's a good idea to have roadside assistance before you go on a trip. That would help me sleep a lot easier the night before. My friends have been talking about taking a road trip. They want to see a lot of the country and have a good time.

David @ Spiced

Wednesday 11th of February 2015

I've always wanted to drive across the country...that sounds like an awesome trip that you guys took! And that Richard Petty Driving School looks crazy. Great tips for road trip prep...thanks for sharing! #client

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