Now is a great time to plan a road trip, whether you're interested in taking a two-hour drive to a bed and breakfast or plan on going on a family vacation to visit a number of attractions along the way. At SpeedWash Car Wash, we understand your road trip needs vary according to the length, destinations, or the travel companions of your trip. Here are some things to consider in advance to ensure a trip that's both safe and fun.

Make Sure That Fido Has What He/She Needs

While Making plans for you and your kids is at the fore front of your mind, making sure that your dog or any other pets that are coming with you are comfortable and cared for is also incredibly important. Deciding how you'll secure your dog in case you're in an accident is one of the first priorities. Some people use a harness, which is great for dogs who are comfortable with sitting in one spot for long periods of time. Some other options include crates and barriers.

You also need to schedule stops for them to go to the bathroom, and you should have a couple of times throughout the day that you plan on letting your dog run around and get some exercise. You should also provide your dog with regular access to water. You can buy a travel water bowl online, but stick with the same brand of bottled water or switch from your home tap water to the local tap water gradually as new water sources can upset pets' stomachs. While giving your pet regular access to water is important, you shouldn't let your dog or cat eat in the vehicle, as this can promote nausea in pets with a tendency to get motion sickness. Instead, feed them when you come to a rest stop.

Calculate How Much You'll Spend On Gas

Especially on longer trips, the gas bill could surprise you if you don't calculate how much you're going to have to put in your tank. Calculate the number of miles that you'll have to drive using Google Maps or a similar tool. Then, estimate your gas mileage according to mostly highway driving.

Choose Your Rest Stop Locations

Know where you're going to stop for gas and bathroom breaks. You should also know about any long stretches of road where there aren't places to get gas or visit bathrooms so you can fill up or make a pit stop before you get caught in the car with the needle in the empty zone and 20 miles before you reach a gas station.

Make Sightseeing Plans Along the Way

You might plan out your route for efficiency if you're trying to get to a particular destination, but decide whether you want to take detours that could land you in some pretty cool locations.

Inspect the Car Before You Leave

Especially if your vehicle is more than a few years old, getting a vehicle inspection before you leave for your trip can save you the frustration of losing half a day or more at the repair shop. Some of the most important things that you can do to get your car ready for a long car trip include topping off all of the fluids, checking the car battery levels, checking the brakes and tires, checking the lights and electrical equipment, and inspecting the belts and hoses.

Pack Snacks

Bringing drinks and snacks is one of the best ways to cut costs. Buying things individually at gas stations and stopping at restaurants to eat always will be more expensive than grocery shopping before your trip and packing snacks, sandwiches, bottled water, and juices that you can buy in bulk. Having snacks available will also lessen the number of times that you have to stop for someone who is hungry.

Bring Entertainment

Playing a game of "I Spy" is a great way to pass some time in the car with the kids, but if you're going on a really long car trip, you'll probably need some other activities for everyone. Books, magazines, movies, and games on tablets are common favorites for passengers, but even the best selection can get boring after a while. You could also bring things that are more social, such as games that are specifically designed for cars.

Drivers need to keep their eyes and minds on the road, but many people find it easier to concentrate when they have something to occupy their minds in a way that isn't distracting. This means that children need to be occupied so they're not creating distractions, but you should also have something for the driver to listen to while the front-seat passenger is reading a book.

While music can be a fun way to pass time, many drivers find that their minds need something to do on long trips, and audiobooks or podcasts can be a great way to pass the time. If you're someone who tends to have a good memory, be able to focus on tasks for a long time, manage your time, and do other activities that require higher levels of executive functioning, you might drive more safely while listening to an audiobook while driving long yet simple drives. But make sure you turn Audible and other sources of recorded books off when you're driving through the city or other areas that require you to pay higher attention.

Ride Clean

Last but not least, a stop at any SpeedWash Car Wash location before you hit the road, will allow you to travel in a nice, clean vehicle, which always makes the ride a little smoother!

Road trips can be a lot of fun, but running into problems can lower the overall satisfaction that you and the rest of your family experience on a trip. SpeedWash Car Wash is happy to help provide some suggestions for advance planning so that you have the best experience possible!