10 Tips for Planning a Cross-country Road Trip

Have Your Vehicle Serviced

The whole point of a road trip is the driving, right? There's nothing worse than starting a much-awaited (and well-planned) drive, only to have the car break down. This happens more often than you'd think, and you can lose entire days stuck in a small town, waiting for parts to come in so your car can be fixed. Ward against this possibility -- and ensure your safety -- by having your vehicle checked before you head out. The appointment should include an oil change, plus safety checks on:

  • Battery
  • Brakes
  • Tire tread and pressure
  • Windshield wipers
  • Headlights and brake lights
  • Fluid levels
  • Belts and hoses
  • Spare tire and jack

[source: Waechter]

Create your own car emergency kit by filling a waterproof container with:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Flares
  • Blanket
  • Bottled water and nonperishable snacks

And, make sure someone else on the trip carries a second set of keys in case the driver's set gets lost or locked in the car.

Now that you have these helpful tips for planning your cross-country drive, you just have one thing to do -- hit the road, Jack!

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