The excitement for an upcoming trip can be exhilarating. But it can also be very stressful as you have a million things to remember to do days or weeks leading up to your trip. I, however, have a few extra things I need to do to prepare for road trips due to my auto-immune disorder. I have to plan for meals and food as I manage my disorder through diet that involves more natural ingredients and nutrient dense foods; hence, I have a restricted diet.
Anyway, when we have a road trip coming up, there are several things I do to plan and prepare for an enjoyable worry free travel experience. When I say ‘Weekend Road Trip’ I am generally referring to a trip consisting of approximately 250-300 miles. We usually travel on road trips to Arizona, Palm Springs, or Nevada from the Southern California area. My road trips usually involve a hiking adventure, so this information is geared towards hiking or exploration. One of the most critical things to do to prepare for your road trip is to make sure your vehicle is safe and in good operating condition. Here is a list of things I do for the preparation of our weekend road trip; I start with a vehicle inspection.
- Open the hood and glance over the engine and check fluids.
- Make sure oil is at good levels
- Make sure windshield wiper fluid is at appropriate levels
- Bring jumper cables in the trunk
- Bring a gallon of water
- In case your car overheats while driving. You don’t want to be on the road someplace in the middle of nowhere and your car breaks down and overheats, and you do not have water.
- Make sure the oil and oil filter have been changed
- Bring a blanket
- Bring towels
- Bring a roll of toilet paper
- Bring a handful of tools
- Bring the air compressor. Make sure all tires have the appropriate air in them.
- Make sure the spare tire is appropriated inflated as well.
- Full tank of gas
- When traveling in hot climates: turn off air condition as you incline mountains etc.
- Maps if needed (we do not use GPS); good ole fashion paper maps.
- Ice chest – ice – zip lock bags of ice to fit in cooler
- I found a styrofoam cooler at Walmart for $2.67 and worked great.
- Bring lunch meat turkey breast
- Enough almond milk for the weekend
- Bottles of water
- Healthy snacks; nuts, cut veggies, tortilla chips
- Energy bars- protein bars
- Breakfast cereal- cheerios, oatmeal
Hiking Checklist – local hikes or short hiking
- Bring enough water bottles to fill take for the hike
- Energy bars and nuts
- Appropriate clothing for hiking – hot or cold climates
- Small compass, small mirror
- A hiking partner
- Let someone know where you are hiking, if hiking solo
- Small tool-Swiss army knife
- Research local hiking trails, gather info, trail length, difficulty, etc.
- Proper shoes and clothing
Clothing and Personal Checklist
- Check the weather to determine to bring lighter or warmer clothes
- Jacket or not
- Umbrella in the car
- Essentials- Lotion (for dry climates), chapstick,
- Hats or visors
In summary, road trips can be a little stressful because of the preparation involved and other unplanned items that may come up. But of course, they are ever so exciting as well! Road trips allow you to be more flexible on your trip versus flying. For example, you can take a different route returning home than the route you took going to your destination. You can take detours and stumble upon some amazing hidden gems!
Here is one of our hidden gems we stumbled upon on our detour return from Oregon going South. We came across a detour from I-5 to bypass the large fires happening in Northern California areas. Check out beautiful Diamond Peaks mountain range.
Weekend road trips are like a mini vacation that allows you to getaway for a short while to rejuvenate, refresh, and renew! So maximize your life and fill your weekend road trip with excitement, fun, and exploration! Open your mind and go out and wander!
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