Spring is upon us, and summer’s right around the corner, which means it’s time to head outdoors. Summertime is the most popular time of year for people to take roadtrips. Kids are out of school, the weather is nice, and it’s the perfect time to see the country first hand. Before you load up the car and head out, make sure you’re ready for the best summer road trip ever.

Plan Ahead

Having an enjoyable road trip requires more planning than just figuring out how to get from point A to point B. Do some research about the route you’re planning to take, and decide where you’d like to stop along the way. Plan out where you’re going to be sleeping along the way, so you don’t find yourself hungry and exhausted with two more hours of nothing ahead of you before you can stop. You should be stopping every couple of hours to stretch your legs anyway, so make your stops count and see some of the sights.

Be Flexible

You need to have a plan for your road trip, but it’s highly unlikely that everything is going to go according to plan. Anything from traffic delays to unexpected discoveries can delay your trip, and that’s all part of the fun. Allow yourself some breathing room schedule-wise so that you don’t have to feel extra stressed out if you run into delays and so you can take the time to linger over a fantastic view if you want to.

Care for Your Car

The success of your entire road trip hinges on your car running well, so you want to take good care of it before you head out and during your trip. Perform a pre-trip checklist and have any needed maintenance done before you leave. Keep emergency supplies in the trunk, such as flares, a spare tire, and extra water in case you need it. Signing up for an emergency roadside service for the duration of your trip is a very good idea too.

Playlists and Packing

Your trip will be a lot more fun if you stay organized throughout the duration. Pack your belongings in bags that are easy to load and unload, and that take up the least amount of space possible. Clean out the car every time you stop so things don’t get cluttered in there. Make a traveling playlist and load up your mp3 player before you go, because you may not have radio service when you’re rolling through the middle of nowhere.