Unless you're driving a vintage Ferrari through the hills of Italy with a support truck following you the whole way, there's no perfect way to take a road trip. Jalopnik readers can at least help you prep.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Are there any tips that we forgot about for this list? Everyone has their own pre-trip rituals, so let us know yours in Kinja below.
And have you ever learned the hard what you really need to bring? Tell your road trip horror stories, too. Let the rest of us learn from your bad example.
Photo Credit: Adam Singer
10.) Check All Fluids And Bring Extra
Check your motor oil, check your coolant, check your brake fluid, check your gearbox and diff oil, check everything at home, rather than on the side of the road halfway into the trip. Spare belts are also a must, while we're at it.
Suggested By: waveridin1959, Photo Credit: Miroslav Djuric
9.) Bring A Toolkit
Check out our guide on assembling a stupidly basic toolkit for what you need.
Suggested By: waveridin1959, Photo Credit: Adam Singer
Now's a good time to finally listen to all of those live Grateful Dead tapes your dad keeps in the garage. Or, you know, not. And get all of The Smoking Tire podcasts on iTunes, because eventually you'll get tired of music altogether.
Suggested By: MustangEmile, Photo Credit: The Smoking Tire
7.) Get Two-Way Radios For Multi-Car Caravans
They're better than cell phones.
Suggested By: eurodriver, Photo Credit: Adam Singer
6.) Catch Up On Sleep
Driving tired sucks. And it's surprisingly dangerous.
Suggested By: Saablife, Photo Credit: Hamed Saber
5.) Bring More Water
How much water should you bring on a road trip? More water. More than that. No, more than that.
Suggested By: PTLmarketingltd, Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove
4.) Clean Your Damn Car (At Least On The Inside)
It doesn't have to look purdy on the outside (though that helps make border crossing go smoother), but you'll want to thoroughly vacuum the inside before you leave. unless you like smelling like five-year-old crud ad those red vines you lost behind the back seat three summers ago.
Suggested By: Hawk, Photo Credit: Colin Bewes
3.) Check Your Tires And Spare Kit
Not a lot of people check and see if their tires are properly inflated, or if they have enough tread to last the X,000 miles you're planning on travelling. Make sure you have a spare in decent shape. And a way to change the tire. And a jack.
Suggested By: JJ_Cool_Bean, Photo Credit: Ian Usher
2.) Bring Cash
Cash is good to have for two reasons: first of all, you never know when you're going to be in Bumfuck, Nowhere and they don't take credit at the pump. Second, it's important to keep a budget for random crap that you didn't know you needed until you saw it int he window of side street grocery in a town of 700 people. Like fireworks.
Suggested By: , Photo Credit: Peter Barwick
1.) Ditch The GPS
Well, we don't have anything against having your phone serve as a fallback, but what you really need to do is plot your route on paper maps before you leave. Keep an atlas in the car, too. It's not just about being safe for when your battery runs out or when you get no reception. It's about a better understanding of where you're going and how you're going to get there. Also, if you're a cheap bastard/outdoorsy type, you'll want to check for good camping spots or even sleep-worthy parking lots.
Suggested By: Super Kiwi Zorro and CobraJoe, Photo Credit: The Adventurists