How to Prepare for a Long Car Ride

Long car rides sound like fun at first, but they’re also exhausting. The good news is that it usually means you’re going on vacation and will arrive someplace exciting. Try not to get caught up in the distance and enjoy the process of getting ready for your trip.
The better you plan ahead, the less likely you’ll be to forget important details. Even though you’re taking a car, there are still important items to mark off on your to-do list. Put one of the family members in charge of making sure it’s a smooth journey. See how to prepare for a long car ride.

Make Lists

Start by making lists for all of the items you need to bring with you. This list should also include any appointments or phone calls you need to make, like to the hotel or car shop. Write down every last detail, so you’re sure to remember all of the important tasks that need to be completed before departure. Begin jotting down notes early in the process and adding to them as the days pass. It’s a great way to ensure you have all of your belongings packed and to-dos completed when you’re running out the door. You won’t regret it in the end.

Select A Destination

Choose where you’re traveling to so you can start booking your hotel and planning excursions. Ask around to see where people have been or pick a place from your bucket list. Selecting a place no one’s ever been to before is exciting for the entire family. Put in your research ahead of time and start narrowing it down to a few top locations. Take a vote and solidify the dates you’ll be traveling. Once you have the destination, you can begin learning more about the city and understanding what the weather will be like, so you can pack accordingly.

Determine Who's Going

Get a head count of your passengers as you’re planning. Confirm who’s taking the trip before you select the vehicle. You want to know how many seats to have, if any pets are going and how much extra room you’ll need. If it’s a family trip, make sure everyone knows when and where you’re going and that they’re coming along. It’s important to map out who is coming and where each person will sit so you’re sure to have enough room.

Find A Reliable Vehicle

After you’ve confirmed the number of seats you’ll need, it’s time to start looking for the right vehicle for the trip. Determine if you’ll use one you own or prefer to rent a larger option for such a long road trip. No matter which car you go with, make sure it’s checked out before you leave, and it’s safe to drive. Car accidents happen and are more likely when your vehicle’s unreliable. If you find yourself in a car accident, call Babcock partners who are ready to fight for you. Car accidents lead to medical bills, lost income and tremendous pain and suffering. They want to help. The lawyers will thoroughly investigate and analyze your crash and demand full and fair compensation for you. Don’t go at it alone. Be smart and hire attorneys who can help you get your life back on track.

Decide Where you’ll Stop

Make a decision before you leave about where you’ll make stops along the way. It’s fun to be spontaneous and stop in random places, but you also want to make sure you’re being safe and don’t get lost. Look at the map and make a plan so you know when and where you’ll hit the rest spots and how long the total trip will take you. Obviously, if someone has to stop earlier be flexible and change your route slightly. Mapping out exact locations and timing will help you determine if you’re on track for arrival during the trip.

Pack Light

This isn’t a time to pack all you own in your suitcase. Take one carry on and only bring what you’ll wear. Check the weather ahead of time and remember you can always do laundry at your hotel. It’s also important each person packs light because all of the belongings need to fit in the vehicle that you already committed to taking. Leave the extras at home and only take what you need. Decide what activities you’ll be doing before you leave so you can plan accordingly. Pack a few days ahead of the trip, so you have a few days to add or remove clothing items.

Bring Snacks

Make sure the car is packed full of snacks and drinks for the whole family. You’re going to get hungry and thirsty as you travel. It’s important to stay hydrated and snack on healthy options so your energy stays high. Bring a variety of choices so everyone’s satisfied. This will be cheaper than buying items along the way. Head to your grocery store days before and stock up on all of the requests. Use resealable bags or plastic food containers to help keep all of the items in order and the car clean.

Take Along Activities

Remember that it’s a long ride. You’re going to want to keep yourself preoccupied when you become restless. Prepare yourself by bringing along entertaining activities and games. Bring mind teasers and puzzles and coloring books. Charge all electronic devices, and if you have TVs in the headrests, load up your children with films. They’ll come in handy during the long stretches where there’s nothing to do, and you don’t feel like sleeping. Make sure the kids have what they need to stay happy and quiet for the duration of the trip.

Charge Electronics

Charge your electronics the night before so they’re ready to go when you depart. There are also portable chargers you can buy and use in the car if any of the devices should lose battery life. Electronics are nice for keeping everyone entertained with movies, music and games. Remind the entire family to have their devices charged up before you get in the car to avoid any upset passengers or fights. If it’s a very long journey, invest in battery packs so they can recharge mid-journey.

Prepare A Playlist

It’s a good idea to have music playing during various portions of the trip. Come up with a playlist everyone will enjoy days before the trip. Get requests from family members and also include classic road trip songs. Make it ahead of time, so that all you have to do is plug it in when you’re ready to play it. Music will help break up the trip and boost everyone’s mood. It’s especially nice for whoever is driving at the time so they stay wide awake.

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

The most important task for each person to do before they leave is to get a good night’s sleep. Everyone should make it a goal to be well-rested and ready to hit the road on time. Set a bedtime for yourself if necessary and make sure the kids are settling down early. You’ll be thankful when you’re feeling good in the car and don’t feel like you have to take a nap immediately. Of course, there’ll be time to sleep, but resting in a car isn’t as comfortable as in your own bed. Watch a movie or read a book to calm your mind and sleep for the recommended number of hours the night before. It’ll improve your entire experience of the trip, and everyone will be less crabby in the tight quarters of the car.

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Now’s not the time to bust out your fancy outfit and shoes. Wait until you arrive at your destination to dress up. Wear the most comfortable clothes you have for the car ride. Put on a pair of cozy pants and a light or loose shirt that allows you to move around easily. Remind the whole family to do the same so they can also have a nice ride. You’ll regret wearing tight clothes that are difficult to move in. You’ll also want to be in a comfortable outfit for when you arrive in case it’s bedtime.

Have Fun

The final tip is to have fun. Remember that although it takes some work to prepare for, it’s a vacation and it’s supposed to be enjoyable. Once you’re on the road, relax and unwind. Take in the scenery and don’t panic if the plans don’t go exactly as scheduled. Remain flexible and cheerful as you navigate the course of your path with your family. Laugh at yourself and be okay with the reality that your trip isn’t going to go perfectly. Remember that you did your best to prepare for the trip and the rest is out of your hands. Take pictures and document your trip, so you have the memories forever. It’ll be amusing to look back on it when you’re back home.


Road trips require careful planning to be successful. It’s not a good idea to wing it, or you may end up encountering lots of surprises. Put in the work that’s recommended ahead of time and you’ll have a great trip. This is how to prepare for a long car ride.

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