Taking a long drive is an exciting hallmark adventure for many car enthusiasts. Many have a dream journey sitting on their bucket list. It can be a family holiday or a road trip with friends. Hitting the open road promises a memorable escapade.

Before you turn on the ignition, there are a few things to keep in mind. High on that list is the condition of your car. It’s wise to take tips from a Truckjunkie and ensure your car is in top shape before setting off.

As we’ll share in this article, you should also make other preparations. Read to find out how you can best prepare for that road trip.

Test Vehicle Systems

Before leaving your house for that road trip, ensure that these aspects are running trouble-free:

  • Lights and signals: Check all exterior lights, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals. Truck lighting is the centrepiece for good visibility. Checking these ensures compliance with road regulations.
  • Windshield wipers: Their condition is important for visibility. Inspect the wipers for wear and tear and replace them if necessary. In addition, ensure the windshield is clean and free from cracks or chips.
  • Air conditioning and heating: Test the air conditioning and heating systems, addressing any issues before the long drive. Your car’s temperature system is crucial for the cabin’s temperature. 
  • Electronics and entertainment: Verify that the radio, navigation system, and charging ports are in working order for a pleasant journey. Otherwise, you’re in for a long, boring trip. 

Schedule a Maintenance Check

While doing routine checks yourself is necessary, a mechanism is also needed. Some issues need to be tended to by an experienced hand. Take your car to the mechanic before setting off for the following:

  • Oil and filter change: Ensure you have fresh oil and a clean filter for your engine’s performance.
  • Fluid levels check: Ensure your mechanic tops off essential fluids such as coolant, brake, and power steering. Equally as important to remember is the windshield washer fluid.
  • Tire inspection: Ascertain that you have proper tire tread depth, inflation, and alignment. Carrying a spare tire and the tools for tire changes is also necessary.
  • Battery health: It’s vital to have optimal functioning for a long drive. The battery sets affect the car’s lighting and other crucial components. Verify that it’s clean and securely anchored.
  • Brake system: Emphasise to your mechanic that the brakes have to function flawlessly. They should, therefore, check the brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid levels.

Pack Smart

How you pack significantly affects the thrill of your journey. To fully enjoy the trip, you must pack the necessary items for safety and comfort. 

First, it’s vital to pack a well-stocked first aid kit. You also need a flashlight, spare tire, jumper cables, and a basic toolkit. Your boot should also have enough food and water. This comes in handy, especially if travelling through remote areas. Non-perishable snacks, bottled water, and a small cooler can sustain you for the journey. 

Then, once you’ve picked your route, checking the weather is important. This informs the choice of clothing you’ll pack for your road trip. It’s advisable to account for all times of the day. You can carry a variety of light and warm items to fit different hours. 

While packing, you shouldn’t overlook personal hygiene. Remember to bring along items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and toilet paper. Together with these, pack any necessary medications or supplements. You need to be healthy to enjoy the journey fully.

Freeing up space on your smartphone before setting off is vital in this age. This way, you’ll have enough space for the photos you take. Alternatively, you can bring along a high-quality camera. It’ll help you capture memorable moments better. 


While waking up and setting off can create good memories, a long road trip requires preparation. You must plan for the extended period you’ll be on the road. As such, crucial steps such as vehicle maintenance and systems testing should be prioritised. Optimal car performance is crucial for safety and gives you room to enjoy. Remember to pack accordingly, too. You don’t want to miss the fun because you forgot simple items.