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Planning a road trip is a wonderful way to experience multiple destinations during one unforgettable vacation. For many, road trips provide an incredible amount of freedom. You get to decide your route, your stops, and ultimately, your final destination. Whether you are planning a road trip with family, friends, or are headed out solo, there are a few important items to take care of before heading out. Below are five things worth considering before you depart on a road trip, whether it be a short trip or across the country.

Get your car inspected

Road trips can cause a lot of wear and tear on one’s car. If you are using your personal vehicle, make sure to schedule an appointment a few weeks in advance to have your car looked at. You’ll want a mechanic to ensure that your brakes, tires, and fluids are operating correctly to ensure safe travels to your destination.

Pack an emergency car kit

After your car has been approved for travel, it is worthwhile to gather a few emergency items to pack. Even the most prepared vehicles can experience bumps along the road, and finding a mechanic or shop on your route could be difficult. These items could include a first aid kit, jumper cables, road flares, windshield cleaner, tire gauge, a flashlight, water jug, etc. If driving during the winter, you’ll also want to include blankets and a snow brush or ice scraper.

Don’t rely solely on a GPS

While a GPS device or a map app on your smartphone may seem like the best option for directions, it is recommended to bring a paper map with you. Electronics can die, and when they do, you’ll be thankful you packed the paper map. Sometimes, paper maps will open the door to new detours or stops you may not have thought to take before.

Download entertainment

Fuzzy radio stations can get frustrating. With many long hours ahead, do yourself a favor and download entertainment for the ride before you leave. Music playlists, podcasts, and audio books are all great ways to help the time pass. If you are traveling with children or co-passengers, an Ipad with loaded movies is also a great idea.

Pack healthy snacks

Take the time before you depart to clean out your car and organize your belongings. Make sure you have room for a small cooler where you can pack healthy meals and drinks for your ride. You will more than likely be eating many meals out along the way, but having snacks and lunches packed will help you save money and feel better throughout your journey.