Rev your engines. We’ve mapped out a checklist for your next road trip with friends. (And even put together a song list for you!)
Take the car in for a maintenance check.
Stop by a reputable mechanic or your car dealership before you hit the road. Your car manual will specify what to check for, based on your car’s mileage.
Stock emergency supplies.
In case your car breaks down, you should have a first aid kit, flares, a blanket, water, cellphone and charger, map, car manual, and CAA membership (for roadside assistance) on hand. In case you get a flat, keep a spare tire, lug wrench, car jack, and our how-to guide in the trunk. Don’t forget tampons, toilet paper, baby wipes, earplugs, and extra socks and undies to safeguard against other emergencies.
Bring healthy snacks.
Growing girls need more than Cheetos and licorice from the highway gas bar to survive—nutritious foods will give you the energy boost needed to keep you healthy on the road and alert while driving. Pack granola bars, apples, and homemade trail mix to nosh on between stops.
Let someone back home know your route.
Tell them your destination, where you’ll be staying in between, and how to reach you on the road. Call and check in periodically so no one worries about you.
Gas up often.
Don’t wait until the needle is on “E.” Especially if you’re travelling off the beaten path, gas stations may be few and far between.
Don’t drive if you’re tired.
Switch up drivers, stop for a break, or pack it in for the night. Drowsy drivers are dangerous on the road—they can suffer impaired judgment and slower reaction time, equal to that of drunk drivers.
|Make the Most of Your Trip
Make a playlist for the road.
These retro road tunes are sure to jump-start your engines:
“I Drove All Night” by Cyndi Lauper
“Roam” by B-52’s
“Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz
“Drive My Car” by The Beatles
“Highway To Hell” by AC/DC
“Everyday Is A Winding Road” by Sheryl Crow
“Little Deuce Coupe” by The Beach Boys
“Behind The Wheel” by Depeche Mode
“Where The Streets Have No Name” by U2
“Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf
Hand surf out the car window.
It might look lame, but nothin’ says “Freedom” like hand surfing. It’s pure, blissful driving Zen. “Omm…”Have a road trip reunion.
Get your roadie pals together, rent Crossroads, andmake a scrapbook of your amazing journey. Include your travel journal pages, maps, photos, stories, souvenirs, and the like.
Don’t Let a Flat Tire End Your Good Times
Here’s what to do if you spring a leak:
• Park completely off the road and on level ground; apply the parking brake, turn off the engine, and put the hazards on.
• Pry the hubcap off with the flat side of a lug wrench, then loosen the lug nuts (which hold the wheel in place) with the other side of the lug wrench—turn one counter-clockwise a few times, then loosen the one opposite, and continue in a star pattern until all lug nuts are loosened.
• Place the jack under the car and turn the handle on the jack until the flat tire is raised completely off the ground (check the car manual for how to position the jack properly).
• Remove the lug nuts (they are probably loose enough now to twist off by hand) and set them aside in a place where they won’t roll away.
• Remove the flat tire and lift the spare tire onto the wheel studs with the air valve and label facing out.
• Replace the lug nuts by turning each one clockwise by hand, again using the star pattern. Slowly lower the jack, remove it, and further tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench. Put the hubcap back on by holding one edge in place and banging the opposite side with your fist. Ta da!!