Road trips have continued to increase in popularity as Travel Agent Central reports, with nearly two-thirds of Americans agreeing that they wanted to hit the road for a spontaneous vacation. While there’s nothing like getting behind the wheel and turning up the tunes on the way to an exciting destination, or making the road trip an adventure of its own, when driving across the country that feeling can quickly turn into exhaustion.

Whether you’re driving from California to New York to check out the Statue of Liberty or from Nova Scotia to British Columbia to tour the real estate for sale in Whistler, with endless days of driving ahead, preparation is key to preventing crankiness, boredom, or worse, car problems.

Plan Your Route and Major Stops Before You Go

Your first step should be to plan out your route and choose at least the major stops along the way, such as where you’ll spend the night and the top attractions that can easily be reached. After all, you probably don’t want to miss Cadillac Ranch in Texas, a road stop legend, or the Blue Whale in Oklahoma. 

Don’t Try to Cover Too Much in One Day

Keep distance and drive times in mind when planning. The trip will be much more enjoyable if you don’t have to rush, driving hundreds of miles until you’re exhausted every day. Think of it this way, professional drivers are limited to 600 miles a day which with brief stops for fueling up and restroom breaks is about 12 hours on the interstate, which is far too long for a laid-back trip. Try not to cover more than 400 miles a day which works out to closer to eight hours behind the wheel.

Prepare Your Vehicle

One of the most important planning aspects of a cross-country road trip is to ensure your vehicle is ready to go. If you haven’t had it checked out in awhile, do so before you go. Otherwise, check the oil and all the fluids along with the tire pressure and tread of all your tires, fill up the wiper fluid, replace windshield wipers if they’re worn, make sure all your lights are working, and be sure your brakes aren’t squeaking or showing any other signs of wear. 

Pack a First-Aid Kit

A first-aid kit should really be in your vehicle at all times, but it’s even more important on a long-distance road trip. Make sure it has all the basics like bandages, alcohol cleansing wipes, tweezers, and antibiotic ointment, along with typical medications like Ibuprofen and Benadryl. 

Playlist, Audiobooks, or Podcasts

Now is definitely the time to crank up your favorite tunes by creating a playlist, and with countless hours on the road you might want to finally get around to enjoying the audiobook version of that novel you’ve been wanting to read.  You’ll have plenty of time to check out the latest trending podcast too, ideal when you’re passing through lackluster scenery like endless cornfields. 

A Packed Cooler

Don’t forget the cooler as it will help save time on unnecessary stops for food and drink. It will also save you some money, and if you have any dietary restrictions, you won’t have to worry about trying to find something for your hunger pangs that will suit you when you’re in the middle of nowhere. Stock up on the essentials before you go, ideally snacks that are easy to eat out on the road like beef jerky, nuts, carrots, and grapes. Bring plenty of water and any other refreshing beverages too.