Spring and summer is the ultimate time of year for road trips. Whether you and the family are traveling cross country to see all the “must see” sights or you’re just traveling a with friends to the beach for the weekend, a little planning goes a long way for a safe and effortless road trip. Consider the following tips to make the best of your next warm weather road trip:

Pack Light, Pack the Essentials       

It’s natural to overpack when planning a road trip, but try to only pack what you need. Choose clothing that is wrinkle-free and comfortable (no need to feel limited by tight clothing while spending most of the time in your car). Choose sensible shoes, perfect for all types of terrain and don’t forget to pack a light jacket. In order to help you pack the right clothes, check out future weather forecasts. Even though the weather can change without warning, you’ll have a better idea what to wear. Some other essentials include, but are not limited to:

  1. Healthy and Easy to Eat Food
  2. First Aid Kit and Emergency Road Kit
  3. Spare set of Keys
  4. Paper Products and Hand Sanitizer

Eliminate Distractions

When preparing for your road trip and packing up your car, make sure all of your passengers are situated and have everything they need before you hit the road. While older passengers are easy to entertain and can take care of themselves, younger passengers can end up being antsy, loud, and demanding at some of the worst times when you’re traveling (ie. gridlock). Make sure all toys, books, and electronic devices are in reach of young passengers so you don’t need to clumsily reach behind your seat while driving.

In addition to your passengers, eating in the car, talking on your cellphone, and even trying to figure out the GPS can be a dangerous distraction, increasing your chances of being involved in an accident. If you become too distracted, hungry, or tired while driving, pull over safely and take a break.

Download Helpful Apps

One of the best things about road trips these days is having all of the information you need at your fingertips. While you should use your smartphone sparingly while on the road (and never text and drive), there are numerous apps that can make your road trip a lot easier:

  1. Plan Where to Go, Don’t Get Lost: While the traditional paper map can work well in a pinch, online maps are usually up-to-date and can help you figure out the fastest way, in the event of construction or delays. Google Maps is a great way to get turn by turn directions without fumbling with a map or pressuring a passenger.
  2. Get the Best Gas Price: Don’t want to wait for a roadside sign to alert you where the closest gas station will be? The GasBuddy app will help you find the cheapest gas and where the closest station is located.
  3. Be a Little Adventurous: Want to be a little spontaneous on your road trip or wonder if there are any points of interest as you travel through some boring terrain? The Field Trip app can alert you of points of interest nearby and will give you recommendations based on what you enter into the search engine.