Though summer is nearing its end, tons of motorists are looking to cram in that last minute road trip. Everyone is different when it comes to preparation: what foods to bring, what music to listen to, or who’s doing a majority of the driving. Regardless, safe traveling is ultimately paramount when prepping for any trip short or long. You may be driving into a state or country in which you have never been before, so get familiar with your route ahead of time, grab your friends or family, and hit the road to capitalize on the end of summer!

  1. Before taking a long road trip, make sure you have had plenty of sleep and something to eat before heading out. Though you would think coffee or energy drinks will help you, ultimately they will initially perk you up, then you will be sleepy again.
  2. Pull over frequently and share driving responsibilities – If you pull over frequently to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat, and get some fresh air, you will be much more alert while driving. When planning your trip ahead of time, try to divide driving times evenly. This allows you to nap while another is driving, or simply keep an eye on them.
  3. Know the laws of the states in which you will be traveling – Police officers typically do not accept ignorance as an excuse, so be sure to hone up on different state laws before it is too late!
  4. Never drink alcohol before a trip – Although you may not be intoxicated after one drink, the alcohol and sugar from the drink will make you sleepy. This is the MOST important item on this list, but is pretty much self-explanatory.
  5. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your location – Sure, GPS devices are a great way to navigate your routes, but they often get travelers lost. Bring along road maps for the areas along the way to your destination – believe it or not, road maps are actually fun to use.
  6. Make sure your vehicle is in working condition – Check your mileage, oil levels, and last time you got it inspected. If you have not kept up with your automobile, take it into the shop for a tune-up.
  7. Join AAA – This can ensure that if you have any problems, that their service technicians can help you at a very low cost.
  8. Try not to use your cruise-control at night – You may be saving a fraction of fuel, but ultimately managing your speed will keep you more alert while driving at night.
  9. Have a small cooler packed – This will minimize the amount of stops you’ll have to make. Also, it will save you money for the rest of your trip.
  10. Make sure everyone wears their seat belt – Though another obvious recommendation, this is also highly important. It will also prevent you/your passengers from receiving a ticket!

Ultimately, the condition of your car and amount of rest you are working with determines your driving abilities. If you follow these guidelines, you will have a safe and successful trip. Oh yeah, air fresheners are also encouraged for the more outdoorsy/longer trips! Safe travels!