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8 essentials for a summer road trip

By Jeremy Koch on

Looking to escape the city and hit the wide open road this summer? Whether you drive a hatchback, sedan, SUV or truck, taking a little time to pack smart and be prepared means less headaches and more fun on the road ahead.


8. Map out route (and alternates)  Getting there is half the fun, and the most important thing about a road trip is making sure you have a safe route to your destination. Make sure you check the road conditions in the days leading up to your trip (for home and destination location), and plan out alternate routes in case you get detoured around an accident or construction. Don't forget to research towns along the way for fun and interesting breaks for the bathroom, food, to stretch your legs or to get to know the area better. Plot all points into your GPS system, including stops. That way, when the kids ask 'are we there yet', you can give them a concrete answer and you can better budget your time.

7. Designate a co-pilot  With great seating comes great responsibilities. Designate a co-pilot to monitor road conditions on social media, run the entertainment system, handing out snacks and to keep other passengers in check. They can also ensure that a cell phone is charged and in service in case of emergencies, or to keep in touch with emergency contacts either at home or at your destination. For extra long trips, pick a co-pilot that can also take over driving to reduce fatigue and risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

6. Give the car a check-up  Make sure everything is in tip-top shape before you hit the road. Make sure the pressure tires is good, check the oil and wiper fluid and obviously top up on gas. A car wash and vacuum of the interior isn't a bad idea either. 5. Double-check emergency supplies Just because it's summer doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared for emergencies. Make sure you have booster cables, a jack and a spare tire, or at least a valid roadside assistance subscription. Every car should also be equipped with a first aid supplies, flares, candles and a blanket. Go through your kit every six months to make sure it's adequately stocked and that nothing has expired.

4. Cockpit essentials Inside the car, make sure you have the following in reach of the co-pilot or other passengers:

  • tissues and napkins (or wet wipes)
  • garbage bag
  • snacks and beverages
  • chargers

Also make sure you have your license, registration and vehicle insurance on hand (and that it's all up-to-date).

3. Entertainment  Pick entertainment - whether it's podcasts, radio stations or audiobooks - that all passengers will enjoy. If you have passengers that would prefer reading, make sure their e-reader is charged and the cable is in the front of the car, or that they have enough paper books to keep them entertained.

2. Fifi & Fido  Your animals are members of your family too, and you want to make sure they're happy when you're on the road. if you get into an accident, improperly restrained pets can turn into projectiles, and can be hurt or hurt passengers. Pets should be restrained either in a harness or crate, but don't ever make them feel like they're being punished. Pets also need as many (if not more) breaks for bathroom, food, water and exercise.

1. Pack Smart Don't over pack your vehicle.  If you're driving an hatchback, SUV or truck, make sure you can still see out the rear window. If you have a sedan, make sure the door shuts and seals. Check your manual to find your vehicle's weight limit, and look into roof rack options if you can't fit everything into the trunk. Did we miss anything?

Happy traveling!

By Jeremy Koch on
Call (780) 434-8411
Call Koch at (780) 434-8411