Preparing for Your Next Road TripFlying to a far-off destination can be fun, but if you don’t have the money for that kind of travel, you don’t have to give up your vacation completely. Instead, pack your car for a fun road trip, either with your family or with friends.

Either way, road trips are often more affordable and definitely not lacking on fun. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  • Pack maps with your route and alternatives highlighted.

While most people forego the maps for GPS devices these days, if you’re ravelling a significant distance, this isn’t a good idea. After all, your GPS could die or even lose signal in rural locations.

When this happens, you’ll want to be able to pull out your trusty paper map and get back on track. If you’re travelling with kids, this is also a great opportunity to allow them to take turns serving as navigator, pointing out on the map where you are and learning to read the map to alert you of upcoming turns.

  • Have your car inspected before you start your journey.

Make sure the oil is changed, the fluids are topped off, the tires are inflated, and your car is otherwise ready for the journey. If you have an older vehicle, you might want to consider renting one for the road trip so you don’t have to worry about it breaking down along the way.

  • Pack food and water for the trip.

Stopping every time someone wants a snack can get old. Instead, pack lots of easy-to-eat snacks and a cooler full of water and energy drinks. That way, you’ll stop less often and also spend less money at high-priced snacks from vending machines and gas stations. You also have more control over the nutrition of the snacks you eat if you pack them yourself.

  • Collect grocery store gas points.

In the month before your road trip, have everyone traveling with you stock up on gas points from a specific grocery store. You shop at Giant while Joe shops at Safeway and Jane shops at Kroger. That way, as you stop to fill up along the way, you’ll have a discount from someone no matter what kind of station is located along your route.

  • Purchase roadside assistance.

No matter how much you plan, even with a car inspection, you might find yourself in a fender bender or with car problems while on your road trip. When that happens, make sure you’re protected with not only a good car insurance plan, but also with roadside assistance.

With this kind of problem, no matter where you are, all you have to do is call, and your insurance company will send out a tow truck, help you change a tire, jump your battery, or otherwise help you get back on the road as quickly as possible.

Allison the author of “Preparing for your next road trip” works for a travel insurance company, Allison also she is a great travel blogger!!