Road trips are a great way to get out and enjoy the countryside, visit new and faraway cities, and spend quality time with people you love. However, if you plan on spending a serious amount of time in a car, it’s important to know the tips that make road trips not just fun, but safe too.

Be sure to read through this list the next time you plan on embarking on a road trip. This is your one-stop safety checklist – feel free to print it out and use it before packing the family or your friends into your car and heading out on the open road!

Buckle Up

It may seem obvious, but it really can’t be emphasized enough. When you go out on a road trip, you need to follow proper car safety procedures. One of the most important procedures is wearing your seat belt. Seat belts dramatically reduce the frequency of injury and death in car accidents, and no matter how uncomfortable you find them, they are a must.

If you’re bringing kids along, be sure to outfit them with a car seat or booster seat, depending on their age.

Keep a full tank of gas.

Always keep an eye on your fuel gauge when you’re out on the road. In some parts of the country, especially in more rural or wilderness areas, you may find that gas stations are hard to come by. The last thing you want is to be stranded with no gas – be sure to fill up.

Always bring physical maps.

You might scoff at the idea of unfolding a large paper map or leafing through a physical map book while out on a road trip. But, while you may be able to use mapping apps easily enough when driving around your city, many parts of the country don’t have consistent enough cell service to rely on maps.

Bringing along physical maps (and stopping to pick them up along your way) is a great way to keep from getting lost.

Get a good pet carrier.

Are you bringing your furry friends along for the ride? That can be tons of fun! But it can also be a danger. Allowing pets to roam freely in the car may sound nice, but you’re one swerve or car horn away from spooking them and unleashing car chaos.

Bring along a trusty pet carrier to ensure everyone’s safety. And, if your pets are particularly high-strung, CBD can help your pets feel calmer while out on the road.

Don’t forget the snacks.

If you’re out for hours and hours, no restaurants or grocery stores insight, you’ll definitely want snacks. It’s also important to bring plenty of water, too. You don’t want to get stranded without any food or water.

Pro tip? Bring along extra snacks for your pets, too!

road trip

Bring a basic car maintenance case

Breakdowns, flat tires, burned out bulbs – they happen. That’s why you should always carry a car maintenance kit with you. Here’s what it should have:

  • Tools, like screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers
  • A jack to lift the car
  • A spare tire
  • Jumper cables

Invest in quality auto insurance

Car insurance is essential for any driver – in fact, in most states, it’s illegal to drive without it. However, there are plenty of different quality levels when it comes to auto insurance, so you might not have the coverage you really need to stay safe on the road.

Invest in insurance that covers all sorts of accidents, no matter who is at fault. You should also make sure your insurance provides towing and roadside assistance, just in case.

Pack your phone, chargers, and an emergency radio

For most people, this probably goes without saying, but it’s still good to double-check that everyone on the road trip has brought their phone and chargers. If you’re going somewhere outside of regular mobile service, it’s probably smart to pack an emergency radio or satellite phone, too, in case there is an emergency.

Always bring along your necessary documents.

Lastly, as with any time you drive, it’s important to have your license, registration, and proof of insurance. If you plan on driving to another country, bring along any passports and customs documents you may need as well.

With the right planning and foresight, road trips can be a great way to relax and have fun.