Planning a road trip this summer? A roadtrip can be very fun and exciting, until something goes very wrong. Here are 5 tips to help keep you safe on a roadtrip.
1. Plan your route in advance
Before starting your road trip, it is important to plan your route and familiarize yourself with the roads you will be traveling on. This includes checking for construction and traffic updates, as well as identifying potential rest stops along the way. Use Google Maps to help you plan your entire trip down to each stop, and it will even calculate drive times between stops. It is also a good idea to have a paper atlas in case you do not have cell service.
For help finding a campsite – check out Campspot!
This Rand McNally Road Atlas & National Park Guide is my favorite Atlas:
2. Have your vehicle checked before you leave
Before any roadtrip, it is a good idea to take your vehicle in for an oil change, and also have the tires, brakes, and fluid levels checked, and make sure that your vehicle is up-to-date on any deferred maintenance or repairs. I like to walk around my vehicle at every gas station stop and check my tires in case any are losing air. I keep a portable air compressor/battery jumper and a can of Fix A Flat in my car just in case. Be aware that if you use fix a flat you will likely need to replace the tire vs fixing it at the shop.
It is helpful to sign up for a service like AAA or Good Sam – so that you can call for roadside assistance in case of a breakdown. If you are pulling a trailer, make sure your plan covers the camper as well.
3. Pay attention to the weather
I recently saw a video of some road trippers that had to jump into a ditch while in the middle of a tornado. While you cannot avoid every weather situation, its a good idea to check the weather before you head out, and also have a portable NOAA radio that can alert you of any upcoming bad weather. It’s better to be late to a destination than take the chance of driving though a snowstorm or tornado. The apps RV Weather or Highway Weather are helpful can help you keep track of the forecast on your route. These Walkie Talkies are USB rechargeable and come with NOAA Weather Scan. Walkie Talkies are great if you are road tripping with another vehicle!
Rechargeable Long Range Walky Talky Handheld Two Way Radio with NOAA Weather Scan + Alert, 6 * 1000MAH AA Batteries and USB Charger Included (Red 2 Pack)
4. Take Breaks Often
You may have heard of the 2/2/2 rule or the 3/3/3 rule of driving no more than 200 – 300 miles per day, stop every 2-3 hours, and arrive at your destination by 2pm – 3pm, However every road trip and drive is different, and I think the key is stop often enough to stay alert on your drive. I like to stop about every hour to use the rest room or stretch my legs, and I try to fill up with gas at every stop, whether I need to or not. Sometimes I do drive more than 200 – 300 miles in a day to get to my destination but I NEVER arrive after dark.
Here is a video of a trip to Mesa Verde national park – where we had to find a new campground at the last minute, and were still able to arrive before dark!
5. Be Prepared With A Road Trip Tool Kit
It’s important to be prepared for any number of situations on the road – here is a checklist of items to have in your vehicle as a road trip tool kit.
- Gloves, Hat and Rain Gear
- Blankets or Sleeping Bag
- Water and Snacks
- First Aid Kit – your kit should have bandages, gauze, tape, scissors, pain relievers and tweezers.
- Fire Extinguisher – A small fire extinguisher for your car should be easily accessible.
- Flashlight or Headlamp and Batteries – these options are solar or usb rechargeable.
- Weighs only 50g
- Four light modes: White + Dim , Red + Dim, White Strobe, Red Strobe
- Front panel tilts downward with one hand.
- 40 hours on LO, 3 hours on HIGH. Max Output: 200 lumens
- Recharge via micro USB
- Basic Tool Kit – jumper cables, tools, air compressor, screwdrivers, pliers and more.
I hope these 5 tips to help keep you safe on a roadtrip are helpful to you, and I’m wishing you a safe and enjoyable roadtrip this year!