How to Prepare for a Year on the Road

Published On June 6, 2017 | By Staff Writer | Travel Planning
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There’s no better way to see the best that a country has to offer than a road trip, but life on the road isn’t easy. We tend to take things such as food, water, and shelter for granted on a day-to-day basis, but it’s much harder to do this when living out of your vehicle. Long road trips take a lot of planning and prep work, but in the end, it’s worth it to experience a new place in intimate detail. If you’re planning on taking a cross-country road trip, here are some tips on how to best prepare beforehand.

Get Your Vehicle Ready

Before heading to the highway, you should give your car a cursory check over to make sure that it’s safe for the roads. By running through a quick maintenance checklist, you can reduce your risk of breaking down on your trip. The most important things to look out for are:

  • Engine oil levels
  • Transmission and differential fluids
  • Cracked or damaged hoses
  • Torn belts
  • Fully functioning set of wiper blades
  • Engine coolant levels
  • Tire pressure and tread
  • The brake system
  • The battery

Keep Everything in Working Order

If you’re spending a year or longer on the road, the chances are that you’re going to be doing a lot of driving. All that wear and tear is bound to catch up with your car, and you need to be ready when it does. Make sure to keep up with oil changes, tire pressure checks, and other routine maintenance to avoid a pricey trip to the mechanic, which could end up throwing your entire trip off course. You should bring an emergency vehicle maintenance kit with you, including things such as:

  • A tire-changing kit or foam tire sealant for flats
  • Road flares and reflective warning triangles
  • Jumper cables
  • A small fire extinguisher
  • A tire gauge
  • A multipurpose tool
  • Extra engine fluids
  • Towing tools

Expect the Best, but Prepare for the Worst

You never know when you might have an emergency during a road trip. You might get lost, break down, become stranded, or any other number of problems. It’s best to follow the Boy Scout motto and be prepared – make sure to pack everything that you might need in the event of an emergency. You should be sure to pack:

  • A first aid kit
  • Extra clothing and blankets
  • A rain poncho
  • A flashlight with spare batteries
  • Plenty of nonperishable food and extra water
  • A map, as a backup to your GPS system




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