Choosing to adventure is one of the most exciting parts of the journey, whether it’s a road trip, backcountry excursion, or a day spent off-roading. But don’t let that anticipation keep you from being prepared. It’s an important step, no matter how dull it may seem. Since proper planning can spell the difference between a fantastic trip and a horrible one, we’ve compiled some tips for getting started.

Keep these in mind when planning your next adventure trip. Visit a trusted mechanic to get a multipoint inspection before setting out. This includes getting your tires checked and rotated, topping off your fluids, inspecting all belts and hoses, and testing shocks and struts. It’s smart also to get an oil change at this time, even if it’s early.

Make sure your vehicle’s cooling system is in good shape, as well. Not only does this impact the use of air conditioning, but it also helps the engine avoid overheating. This means having the water pump, radiator, and thermostat inspected.

You’ll also want to carry some form of road-assistance coverage like AAA. Those on highway-only road trips may have easier access to a tow truck, but anyone traversing the backcountry would be smart to have coverage in the event of an incident.

Above all, your vehicle needs to be reliable. Neglecting regular maintenance can cause many future problems. Those issues become magnified and harder to fix whether you’re off-grid or stranded on the side of a highway.

Visit a trusted mechanic to get a multipoint inspection before setting out. This includes getting your tires checked and rotated, topping off your fluids, inspecting all belts and hoses, and testing shocks and struts. It’s smart to also get an oil change at this time, even if it’s early.

Make sure your vehicle’s cooling system is in good shape, as well. Not only does this impact the use of air conditioning, but it also helps the engine avoid overheating. This means having the water pump, radiator, and thermostat inspected.

You’ll also want to carry some form of road-assistance coverage like AAA. Those on highway-only road trips may have easier access to a tow truck, but anyone traversing the backcountry would be smart to have coverage in the event of an incident.

Above all, your vehicle needs to be reliable. Neglecting regular maintenance can cause many future problems. Those issues become magnified and harder to fix whether you’re off-grid or stranded on the side of a highway.

An area’s weather determines more than just what you’ll wear. Heavy rain can alter terrain drastically, producing mud traps and streams that won’t appear on Google Maps. Local roads could be susceptible to unexpected closures. Changing tides may even close an expected path.

Study the climate quirks of the area beyond checking the 10-day forecast. Call local parks, area guides and tour groups. They should be eager to tell you how to prepare since protecting you protects their local land.

Familiarizing yourself with traffic laws helps you avoid getting lost, racking up unnecessary fines, or getting stuck. This means studying speed limits, the direction of traffic, and parking limits ahead of time. Be aware if regional laws ban something legal in your city, such as making a right turn on a red light.

Knowing your route extends to the backcountry or off-road travel. You don’t want to drive illegally on access roads or private property. If you’re driving to an off-road park or trail, keep in mind that some require a two-car minimum for entry. This means you’ll need to bring a friend or link up with another group.

Map out your desired drive route ahead of time to know the distances between gas stations and food stops. It’s smart to have a plan for refueling or to use the bathroom.
Understanding your route means knowing the best time to travel. Driving during the day is always a better option than driving at night, no matter how much traffic stands between you and your destination. You’ll be more alert and aware of your surroundings in broad daylight.