Know the road best traveled
Don’t rely on your phone’s GPS to get you where you’re going. That’s particularly important if your drive takes you outside cell phone range. If you don’t know the roads to your destination, it’s a good idea to have some written directions as a backup.
Research beforehand to see if there’s a better route and whether there are navigation concerns – like massive roadwork – to avoid.
Prepare your vehicle
It’s a good idea to have your car inspected before you leave. You don’t want to discover on I-70 in the Rockies that your tires need to be replaced or your alternator is kaput. These are the kinds of problems a quick mechanical inspection can spot before you head out.
And stash an emergency kit – including first aid supplies – in your trunk.
Snacks and cash
Bring more snacks than you think you’ll eat and more cash than you think you’ll spend.
Long drives make folks hungry, and hungry passengers are grumpy passengers. Depending on where you go, cash comes in handy for sodas at rest stops and other small purchases. Not everyone accepts debit or credit cards, and you don’t want to learn this when your kids loudly beg for crackers from the vending machine.
Know your limits
Sure, driving through the night sounds great, but when your eyelids droop, you’ve driven too long. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Set time aside to stop at roadside attractions along the way.