Going on a Road Trip: 5 Ways to Prepare for the Road

Road Trip by Aurimas on FlickrThe road trip is a quintessential part of the American experience, so much so that it has produced some of the key books in American literature. Who could not say that stories and films like Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” William Least Heat-Moon’s “Blue Highways” or “Easy Rider” does not express something true and central to the American concept of self? The open highway has often meant freedom to the individual — a metaphor for personal choice and determining one’s fate — and that tradition carries on today in the rite of passage of the road trip.

Preparing for a road trip, like all adventures, requires a certain number of prerequisites to make sure all goes smoothly. “Like sailors of centuries ago, the American landscape can often begin to resemble an endless sea of opportunity, and knowing how to navigate its waters, as it were, is essential to the success of the voyage.” – Rhett J. Stone

Packing maps

Whether you’re a member of Triple A or another good automotive institution, finding what maps are available to you is a great way to plan your trip — especially if you’re looking to get off the beaten path. The book “Blue Highways” refers to the smaller routes off the main interstates, that can provide access to small-town American life, for example. You’ll probably discover many new things on your trip, and maps can often clue you in to areas you didn’t even know existed.

Deciding ahead of time what you’d like to see

A road trip can sometimes be like a trip to the supermarket: If you don’t have a list of what you’d like to get it can become overwhelming to have so many choices. Asking yourself what you’d most like to experience with a road trip — whether it’s that view of Big Sur you’ve always longed to see for yourself, or the ability to experience a close encounter with an enormous variety of wildlife right outside your car in Yellowstone’s hallowed environs, a good idea of what you’d like to accomplish with your trip can be immensely helpful.

Having good tires and keeping a spare

Nothing quite says good car health quite like a sturdy set of tires. A site like simpletire.com is here to make sure you’ve got the kind of equipment necessary for a successful trip — and few items are more essential than these trusty friends of the road! With a tire size calculator to help you establish the best way to make sure your trip is a long and successful one, you’ve got a sure way to have a reliable time as you hit the road.

Getting an oil change

Few things help your car more than a good oil change, which will also save you time on your trip.


You’re about to set out on a quintessentially American adventure — remember to enjoy yourself and the many opportunities you’ll find on your trip.

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