How to Prep Your Vehicle for Your Summer Road Trip

Summer road trips are perfect for adventure. They are great whether you go with your friends, family, or your partner. They can even be undertaken as a solo adventure. You can kit out an old vehicle and live out of it in extreme luxury, or you can take your car and stop along hotels and motels along the way. The potential of road trips is immense. You have no fixed stops, you don’t have to keep to your itinerary, and you can pick and choose your adventure as you go. There is nothing stopping you from taking a detour, pulling over to enjoy the sights, or even just spend an extra day relaxing somewhere because you are bored of driving.

Regardless of what your goal is when you plan your road trip, there are a few things that you need to do before you head off to prep your car. It will be, after all, a second home to you for the duration of your trip, and not only does it need to work, it has to have all the amenities of home. That is why you need to follow this guide to prep your car for your summer road trip:

Get it Serviced

Before you even think of taking your car out for a long journey, you should always get it serviced. The last thing that you need is for a fault to cause you to be stuck roadside for hours on end. Even secondary systems like your air conditioning need to be in tip-top shape. Summers can be very hot, and if your air conditioning isn’t running well, you need to get it serviced at immediately.

This is also important if you drive a lot. You don’t want systems to fail on you when you have been on the road for a few days. Get your oil changed, fill up your tires with more air, and have a full systems check. Some problems, like your power seat heaters not working, isn’t that big of a deal in summer when the last thing that you want is for your seat to warm you. Cater your concerns to a summer drive, and you’ll have a working steed that will take you on many adventures unknown.

Clean the Interior

A messy and even dirty interior might not seem like a big deal when you are only driving to and from work, but when you are living in a vehicle, this mess can easily pile up. Dirt, dust, old spills, weird smells – they will all contribute to the quality of your drive. That is why you should spend an afternoon deep-cleaning your vehicle before you head out. It includes wiping down leather features, vacuuming the floors, and rinsing off the rubber mats on the floors. You will also want to clean the windows on both sides. Half the adventure of a road trip, after all, is the views you will see along the way!  

By making your vehicle spotless, you can ensure a more comfortable drive. Bring a small cleaning kit with you on the road to make easy touch-ups (important if you are bringing a pet with you), and you’ll be good to go.

Organizing Tips

Space is tight in a vehicle, and it’s very small when you spend hours in one. That is why unless you are traveling by yourself you should spend some time, thought, and even money into improving the organization of your vehicle. You could get a rack for behind the seats that allow you to store more items easily and without worry of damage. Sunglasses, bottles of water, and even snacks can all be within your easy reach. The same applies to your trunk. If you are planning a long trip, you could even consider getting a custom vehicle storage unit that will make better use of the vertical space. This can be crucial if you have a dog you’re bringing along with you because it means you can store all your food, clothes, and toys and still have space for your pooch to lay down and relax.

The better your things fit in your car, the easier it will be to stay in it for long drives. Keep it clean, keep it tidy, and you can ease the tensions and discomfort associated with long-distance drives.

Food for the Road

You will want to emphasize food that can be eaten without being either hot or cold. These non-perishable snacks are perfect for on-the-road eating. Some foods are even great for keeping you awake on the road. Road fatigue is a very real concern for long-distance drives and can affect you regardless of how tired you are. Highways, in particular, are very consistent, meaning there is little in terms of changing scenery. You can get tired from simply staring at the same thing all day long. That is why crunchy foods that are packed with flavor can be so useful. If your brain is getting stimulus from something, it can help you stay alert on the road.


Whether you are an adult or a kid, you will need to stay entertained. What you bring for that entertainment, of course, will vary. Many people cannot stomach reading or other focused tasks, meaning that using audio is your best bet. Buy a few audio books, create a road trip playlist, and download a few podcasts to keep you entertained on the road. Your kids might be able to handle watching videos or playing games, in which case an iPad might be all that they need to entertain themselves in the back seat. Either way, the more entertained you are during your trip, the easier long-distance stretches will go and the better you can combat road fatigue.

Road trips can be as taxing as they are rewarding. By preparing your vehicle properly, you can help mitigate the problems of long-distance driving and focus on the benefits instead. All that is left then is to enjoy the open road, the stunning sights, and the adventures.

Will Hopstetter
Will is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United Kingdom. He holds a diverse background in automotive and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.