Summertime is road trip season. Whether you’re headed to the beach or the mountains, there’s a lot to plan and prepare, from budgeting your trip, planning your route, packing well, and getting your car ready for the journey. Car insurance estimators can help you budget for your trip. At the same time, roadside assistance can come in handy if you run into trouble. Pre-trip planning your route and packing list is a must, so ensure you have everything you need before hitting the open road. Get out there, and have fun!

Pre-Trip Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

Every summer, millions of Americans hit the blacktop in search of adventure. But before you pack up the car and head out on your cross-country road trip, it’s essential to ensure your vehicle is up for the journey. A pre-trip maintenance checklist can help ensure that your car runs smoothly and safely.

Start by getting a tune-up and oil change. Then, check the condition of your tires, brakes, and fluids. If you’re unsure about anything, consult a professional mechanic.

Taking care of these things before you hit the road can help prevent breakdowns and other problems along the way. So this summer, don’t forget to give your car a little TLC before setting off on your next big adventure.

Budgeting for the Trip

Now that your car is in good shape, it’s time to start budgeting for your trip. When we think about a vacation, we put aside money for the room, the attractions, food, and souvenirs. But many people forget to calculate the costs of fuel, parking fees, toll booths, and other road-related expenses. 

Ensuring you’re covered for your trip means more than just insurance and a full tank. Spend the weeks or months leading up to the trip squirreling away a little at a time to stash in case of an emergency, as well as your regular costs associated with a trip like this. Here are some more useful tips from TheStreet.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance is a must-have, especially if you’re planning on driving long distances. Using a car insurance estimator is the best way to determine how much car insurance will cost. Insurance regulations for automobiles vary by location. In the United States, insurance regulation is primarily made at the state level, meaning each state has its insurance requirements.

Some states, like New Jersey, require all drivers to carry liability insurance, while others, like Virginia, only require insurance if you’re financing your vehicle. Even within states, there can be variations in insurance requirements. For example, New York City has different insurance requirements than the rest of the state. All this can make it hard to keep track of the insurance requirements when driving in a new area.

The best way to ensure you’re always compliant with insurance regulations is to check with your insurance company before traveling to a new location. They’ll be able to tell you the insurance requirements for that specific area.

Supplemental Coverage

AAA Roadside Assistance is also a good idea in case you run into any trouble along the way. AAA offers 24/7 roadside assistance, and their plans cover everything from flat tires to dead batteries.

They also offer travel discounts and can help you plan your route. So, be sure to add AAA to your list of must-haves before you hit the road.

Planning Your Route

Road trip planning can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking some time to plan, you can ensure that your trip goes off without a hitch. If you’re planning for a road trip near NYC for example, check out these route suggestions from

How to Prepare for a Summer Road Trip
Planning your route is key. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on

Once you’ve taken care of the logistics, it’s time to start planning your route. If you’re driving cross-country, you’ll want to map your way and ensure you have enough time to make all the stops you wish to make.

The best way to do this is to use a road trip planner. There are many different road trip planners available online. They can be an excellent resource for finding out the best route to take and what attractions you can visit along the way.

Road trip planners will also help you budget for your trip by estimating the cost of fuel and lodging for your specific route.

The first step is to choose your destination. Decide how much time you want to dedicate to driving and how much you’d like to explore, and start looking at what’s available within that distance.

Once you’ve settled on a destination, it’s time to map your route. Use a road trip planner to map out the best route to your destination and ensure you’re aware of any road closures or construction.

Planning can help you avoid getting lost or stuck in traffic and save you from the long distances between rest areas. So be sure to give yourself plenty of time to map your route before hitting the road.

Packing for Your Summer Road Trip

Make a detailed list of all the things you need to do and pack. This way, you can be sure you’re prepared for anything that comes your way. Be sure to include the right type and amount of clothes, toiletries, maps, and a first-aid kit.

Once you’ve packed your car and chosen your destination and route now, you get to decide how you get there. Pick some tunes, settle for a long ride, grab a snack, and hit the road.

If you’re not sure where you’re going, consult a map or use an online route planner. Don’t forget to hit the rest stops, stretch your legs, and enjoy the journey. At the end of the day, that is the essence of road trips!

Check out this video for more tips on packing for your road trip:


In an Emergency Situation – Go for the Backup Plan

  • Breaking down on the side of the road is never fun, but it’s incredibly frustrating if you’re on a long road trip. Fortunately, you can do a few things to prepare for such an event.
  • Be sure to double-check your insurance coverage. You may already have roadside assistance included or need to add it on.
  • Familiarize yourself with the process of getting roadside assistance. Make sure you know who to call and what information you need to provide.
  • Always have an emergency fund that will be enough to cover sudden expenses like food and lodgings while you wait for repairs.
  • Call someone and let them know where you are in case of an emergency.

If you’re renting a car, be sure to call the rental company as well and ask about your options for repairs or getting a new rental car.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that you’re prepared for anything that comes your way on your road trip. So this summer, don’t let a little Car trouble ruin your adventure. Be prepared and enjoy the journey!