We’re all (not so) patiently awaiting summer, spending our days dreaming of all the great adventures we’re going to have. Whether it’s finally replacing the furnace in your house, or flying around the world, there has to be time for a little road trip somewhere in the middle. If you’re like me, you’re planning on packing as much in when the weather permits as possible. One of the best parts of living in the continental United States is the ability to take off for a couple days in your car, and not worry about where the road takes you.

In the spirit of summer, here is a list of things to look into before you venture out into the unknown.

  • Know the basics of your car. While this is advised for everyday life, it’s most important when you’re going to be in your vehicle for long periods of time. You should be well versed in the language of your car, from things like random noises the rear windshield wiper makes to what each dash light signifies, you want to be read up and ready for anything thrown your way.
  • Learn some road trip games. There are tons out there, from car bingo to 20 questions. Make something up if you have to, but try and keep yourself entertained while traveling from point A to point B. The more you’ve read up on, the more fun you’ll have.
  • Check out your tires! They need to be in good shape for this road trip, depending on how far your adventure takes you. Make sure that you have substantial tread and that the tire pressure is as stated in the manual.
  • Three things; first aid kit, tool kit, emergency contacts. Keep all of these in your vehicle for this trip, and preferably year round. You’ll need to make sure you have a list of your emergency contacts in case of an accident. The first aid kit and tool kit are pretty self explanatory, but keep them around because you never know when you’ll get a flat or need a band-aid!
  • Audiobooks, playlists and podcasts, oh my! The road can be long and boring if you’re not properly prepared. Keep you and your buddies in great spirits by supplying a fun and unique list of things to listen to throughout your adventure.
  • Last but not least, food. This is an important one, you’re going to be swayed into eating poorly while on the road. Gas stations offer all kinds of short term sugar pick me ups, but with every sugar rush, there’s an equally tough crash. Pack high protein and high fiber snacks so you can keep on truckin’.

Road trips are a great way to make long lasting memories with your family or friends. Don’t sweat the small stuff, there’s bound to be a convenience store between stops, but try to focus on what the whole point of this trip is about memories. So get out there and experience life on the road, even if it’s just for a little bit.