We’ve all been there: it’s the day before your big adventure and you’re suddenly realizing that the car needs an oil change, you cannot find the nearest rest stop, the dog needs to be bathed, and you haven’t packed any food for yourself—or anyone else in your vehicle. 

Here are a few tricks to make your next trip go as smoothly as possible:

Make a Plan

Plan out where you want to stop along the way so that there aren’t any surprises! This will make things much easier on everyone when it comes time to actually drive through those places because they won’t have to worry about stopping at all those places again later down the road.

The Essentials

Don’t forget any essentials like water, snacks, and extra clothing. You never know when you might get stuck in traffic or hit by a sudden rainstorm!

Games & Activities

Bring along some fun games or activities like coloring books and crayons so that everyone can stay occupied while they’re not driving or sleeping (if they need it).

Pillows & Blankets

Make sure everyone has their own blanket or pillow. You never know when someone might want to take a nap or just curl up with a blanket while they read a book or watch TV in the backseat of the car. And having their own personal item will make them feel more comfortable and cozy during those moments.

Vehicle Maintenance

Make sure your vehicle is well maintained so it can handle all those miles without breaking down.


Make sure you have all the right documents ready. Your passport, driver’s license, and car insurance should all be easily accessible—but don’t take them out until you’re actually at the border crossing or toll booth.

Plan Ahead

Plan ahead! Think about what you’ll do if something goes wrong (like your car breaks down), and make sure you have plenty of cash on hand just in case. And always keep an eye on the weather! If there’s bad weather in one part of your route, it might not hurt to divert around it by taking an alternate route—you’ll still get there eventually!

Planning a road trip can be quite stressful, especially if you have no idea where to start or how much time it will take to complete your journey. But don’t worry! With a little planning and extra preparation, traveling by car can actually be fun, entertaining and even exciting! 

Authors Bio: Thomas Bouve has had an intensive IT career in innovative transportation projects. During a 4-year tour of duty in the Navy, LCDR Bouve received critical computer training which he directly applied to various logistics programs. After his military service, Tom was appointed Chief, Research and Analysis Division within the U.S. Department of Transportation. During this time, he managed the development of advanced graphic mapping applications, which often included hands-on design and development. Moving into the consulting arena, Tom designed, developed and managed highway travel websites, apps and proprietary databases. Over his professional career, Tom has been awarded several transportation-related IP patents.