Schools are out, swimming pools are open and Summer is in full swing. Summer is also vacation time, and for many, that means its time for a summer road trip. Packing up the car, piling in, and hitting the road for a far-flung destination. With a giant country to explore, few things are more American than the summer road trip. But before you head out, make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey. Today were talking about planning, maintenance, and safety before you hit the road. Everyone buckle up, and lets go!


Benjamin Franklin once said, By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” The Founding Father is not wrong. Without a plan, not only will you likely end up wasting precious vacation time, but it could even cost you money in the end. Here are a few planning tips for an upcoming road trip.

  • Research and select a destination that youre excited about. This may sound obvious, but choosing a destination that everyone is excited about can keep bad moods from ruining a trip
  • Map your route. Planning a route ahead of time can save you time and frustration, literally, down the road.
  • Be Flexible. Any good plan is bound to go awry. Thats okay! Vacations are for exploring, sightseeing, and having fun. Want to take a more scenic route? Do it! See a local diner that looks interesting? Stop for a bite! Staying flexible will keep your stress low and may accidentally create great memories.

Vehicle Maintenance

Before any long road trip, its a good idea to be sure your vehicle is ready for the journey. The last thing you want is to be stranded by a breakdown that could have been avoided. Smart travelers will take these steps before setting off.

  • Schedule a service. The earlier the better on this one. Dealerships and repair shops get flooded with service requests in the summer. If youre planning a summer trip, try to have your car serviced well before your trip begins and avoid the crowd.
  • Check the tires. This will likely be included in a service, but if you see any issues with worn tread or tire condition, take action. You dont want a trip ruined by a flat tire.
  • Test it all. After your service, test your lights, blinkers, wipers, and brakes to be sure they are in proper working order. If you have kids, you can make this into a fun activity.
  • Pack an emergency kit. A roadside emergency kit with jumper cables, a jack, first aid supplies, and even phone chargers can be essential in an emergency.

Safety Precautions

Staying safe and sound is imperative when traveling. Poor planning can lead to trouble and could even endanger you or your travel companions. Be sure to take these safety steps when traveling.

  • Familiarize yourself. Being familiar with the traffic rules and regulations of your destination can keep you out of trouble while youre traveling.
  • Share your plans. Letting others know your plans can help in a pinch. Letting family and neighbors know your plans will not only let them know youll be gone but will alert them if youre not back when youre supposed to be. This is incredibly important if youre traveling somewhere with poor or no phone reception.
  • Keep numbers handy. Dont just rely on your phone for emergency numbers and contacts. Keeping numbers and information physically written down can be crucial, especially if you dont have access to a phone.

The road trip is a staple of the summertime. And the key to a fantastic summer trip is a combination of careful planning, vehicle maintenance, and ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Wanting to plan a road trip? Take a peek at these road trip ideas. But if you return from your trip with dings, dents, or cracks, were here to help! With six locations across Central and Eastern Nebraska, Eustis Body Shop is on the way to almost anywhere! Get in touch here!