With summer just around the corner, it is officially road trip season in North America. Some of the ultimate freedom comes with hopping into your car, driving, and seeing where the open road may lead you. You might be keen on driving the coast with the fresh Pacific Ocean air blowing through your hair, or perhaps you want to head north and explore the great frontiers of British Columbia in Canada. To ensure that your trip goes as smoothly and hassle-free as possible, take time to conduct research, brainstorm the top destinations you wish to visit, and make sure that your car is insured and running smoothly. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun!

Map Out a Cool Itinerary

Setting out on the open road can be an exciting and intimidating endeavor. With seemingly limitless options of where you can go, brainstorm your ideal road trip itinerary. This will help you narrow down your options. Do you want to focus on urban experiences and explore the history, food, and music scenes in different cities? Or are you more of an outdoors person and want to stop by national parks, camp on the coast, and hike through mountains?

You may be dreaming of driving from the forests of Yosemite or across the desert landscapes of Death Valley. Deemed the hottest place on earth, Death Valley National Park sits below sea level and offers exciting sand dunes and canyons to traverse. While you don’t need an exact itinerary, having a basic plan can help guide the route you want to take, your budget, and what to pack.

Update your Car Insurance

One of the most important steps to take to prepare for your road trip is to invest in an auto insurance policy. You never know what will happen while on the road. Whether it’s vandalism, a car accident, or a breakdown on the side of the road due to a mechanical failure, it is always best to be prepared and have valid insurance that will cover you for a wide range of circumstances. Compare insurance plans to find one that fits your needs, whether you need car insurance QLD or auto insurance coverage for the United States. If you file an insurance claim with comprehensive coverage, you’ll have to pay a deductible but otherwise your insurance will cover the costs of the damage or repair, or at least largely reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

Take your Car in for a Tuneup

While car insurance will give you peace of mind in the event of unforeseen circumstances, it is also important to make sure that your car is in good working condition before setting off on a long road trip. Bring your car into a mechanic or an auto shop to check that the oil, tires, engine, and other parts are updated and running smoothly. This way, you’ll minimize the risk of a breakdown or the need for a potential repair while on the road. You wouldn’t want to have to delay the trip with a stop at an auto repair shop.

Keep your Packing List Light

You want to make sure that you are well-prepared for your road trip but you also don’t want to overpack. Figure out a general idea of where you’ll be going and what you’ll be doing. Then you can create packing list to ensure that you have everything you need without packing unnecessary items. Pack versatile, comfortable, and quick-dry clothing, as well as activewear if you’re going to be hiking or climbing. Bring layers to prepare for a variety of climates and sturdy hiking shoes for outdoor adventures. A first-aid kit, camping gear, electrolyte tablets, and headlamp are also recommended. After you’ve figured out the basics, stock your car with healthy and tasty snacks, lots of water, a couple of books, backup chargers, and of course, an epic road trip playlist.