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Road Trip Essentials

Crystal Barrow

My husband and I took a thirteen hour road trip to visit some of his family. We had our little pooch with us as well.  This was my first year that I was not  going to be with my family.  At first I was concerned with the reaction of my family but soon discovered that they were excited for us that we were able to do our first road trip as a married couple.  My husband has always been an avid traveler so he knew that there are certain things that must be taken care of before hitting the road.  

During the holidays, traveling to see friends and family can be exciting.  There are certain things that should be taken care of before the trip to help make things go smoothly.

  •  Service your car and make sure that the tires are good.  It is great if you have road service for emergencies, such as AAA or through your insurance.  Pack that automatic battery charger, tire pressure gauge, and portable pump. 
  • Plan your route that you are taking.  Check out the weather predictions for when you will be traveling in order to prepare for it.  We knew that we could possibly hit snow, so we made accommodations for that just in case.  Be open to alternate routes and check them out ahead of time.  Sometimes there is construction or accidents that could impede that perfect traveling schedule.
  • Check out rest areas and  gas/food opportunities that are available.  Some of these resources may have different availability times than the traveler is used to.
  • Prepare food to take with you, especially if you have dietary needs.  Remember to have water and drinks also packed.
  • Pack a first aid kit.  You may also want to pack a small trash can and trash bags for moments of illness or you just want to clean up your car trash.
  • Pack car plug for laptops and chargers.
  • We took our dog with us.  We put the set down so that he would have more room.  We made sure that we had portable food/water dishes, food, treats, toys and his blanket.  When we stopped for potty breaks we took our dog on a leash so that he could also take care of potty business.  We are fortunate that he is used to riding in the car with us, so this long trip was not a problem for him.
  • We had a few extra blankets and pillows packed in case we needed them.
  • Before we left, we made sure that we knew what the Covid travel restrictions and guidelines were for the states that we went through during our trip.  We made sure that we honored this whenever we stopped for gas, food, and site seeing.  

The first day that we traveled, we broke the trip up and stayed in a hotel because we had a late start.  We knew that we did not want to drive when traveling resources may not be available.  It was also more relaxing as we enjoyed the site along the way.  We took some great pictures of lush forests and snow capped mountains.  On our way home, we decided that we could do the trip in one day.  We left early and took turns driving making sure to stop when we needed to be refreshed.  We also gave our pooch some time to romp around.  The trip was successful and enjoyable.  We felt prepared and rested before we took on the arduous task of driving for many hours.  We also made sure that we enjoyed the scenery and spending quality time together talking and listening to music.  We know that we will be having more road trips and adventures.

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