Long Trip Preparation Checklist

How Do You Prepare Your Car For A Long Trip in 2023?


As we step into the fall of 2023, the allure of road tripping is still stronger than ever. While the echoes of 2021’s challenges linger, the spirit of exploration has not waned. The appeal of escaping the everyday hustle and finding solace in nature’s embrace is drawing travelers back to the open road. Plane tickets prices feel higher than ever, creating an even greater attraction to road trip. Concerts, sporting events, and festivals are back in full swing now, and the highways are alive with the hum of vehicles and the excitement of those seeking adventure.

Road trips aren’t going away anytime soon and in fact, Apple Maps recently released data of mobility trends showing that people are already requesting routes at the same rate pre COVID-19. But here’s the kicker, they aren’t GPS’ing their way to the city, they’re heading to open roads, the mountains, lakes, beaches, etc. Road trips offer an escape from the monotony of routine, a chance to disconnect from the digital world, and an opportunity to reconnect with nature’s wonders. The destinations are as diverse as the landscapes themselves – from quaint towns with hidden gems to majestic vistas that take your breath away. Along the way, there’s the thrill of stumbling upon roadside attractions, savoring local cuisine, and sharing stories with fellow travelers.

It’s bad enough when you have car trouble in your local neighborhood – or even in your own driveway. However, nothing could put a damper on those travel plans like having your car break down hundreds of miles from home. Vacations are supposed to be a time for fun and relaxation, but the difference between pleasure and misery often lies in whether or not you took the proper steps to get your car ready for that long trip.

As we embrace the roads that stretch ahead, remember that the essence of travel – the joy of discovery, the freedom of the open road – remains unchanged. In a world that continues to evolve, the journey remains a constant. So, buckle up, plan smartly, and venture forth with the assurance that you’re well-equipped to create memories that will stand the test of time.

Before you leave home for your road trip, there are several simple steps you can take to protect your vehicle, your trip and your loves ones.

First, in case anything does go wrong with your vehicle, make sure you give a trip plan to someone trustworthy. Now, you can go to work on that car of yours…

Up to 5 quarts standard oil and standard filter. Combine these coupons to add up your savings… but don’t combine them with any other offers or promotions. Bust present coupon at time of sale.

Holiday Road Trip Special $54.95

Special includes:

  • Full-service oil change
  • Tire rotation
  • Transmission fluid check
  • Coolant fluid check
  • Brake fluid check
  • Power steering fluid check
  • Battery fluid check
  • Fuel & air intake check
  • Belts & hoses check
  • Air, field & cabin filters check


Long Road Trip Checklist: You can tackle each of these quickly before you hit the road

  • Change oil and filter
  • Begin your trip with a clean car, both inside and out. It will help you find your map when you need it, etc.
  • Try not to put luggage over the car. It creates air friction and slows you down – bringing more gas. If it is unavoidable, cover with strong sheet and tie them very well.
  • Keep a small garbage bag inside the car.
  • Change air filter.
  • Check cabin air filter because you don’t want a musty odor coming from your vents.
  • Cover headlights and front of the car with a protective sheet to prevent bug clogs or other damage.
  • Get an extra set of car belts.
  • Change spark plugs.
  • Make certain your tire iron and jack are in the car.
  • Check your spare tire.
  • Pack a fire extinguisher.
  • Bring towels for cleaning dirty windshields, spills, etc.
  • Get a spare key for the car and keep it in your wallet or elsewhere on your person in case you lock your keys in the car.
  • Fix sun protectors for side windows and front windshield.
  • Make sure you have your podcast downloaded (You may lose service), music library up to date. Or your favorite CD’s if you’re old fashioned.
  • Don’t forget any of those necessary cables; Car charger for your phone, auxiliary cable if applicable, USB cables, camera chargers, Go Pro chargers, drone chargers, etc.
  • If you’re taking photographs or videos, don’t forget those tiny, yet vitally important memory cards
  • Sunglasses
  • Bring a plastic funnel to add water or other fluids. Bring a water bucket in case you need to use a river or lake for emergency coolant.
  • Always fill your gas tank when it is half full. Don’t wait too long.
  • Make sure your owner’s manual is handy.

Long Trip Preparation Checklist

Our downloadable long trip preparation checklist can be printed out and stored in your glove box or browsed on your smartphone! Grab a copy to keep with you as a reference to be safe on those long trips.


In addition, you should make a checklist of items to pack in a car survival kit. These can include:

  • A chain or thick towing rope
  • Electric charger wire
  • Flashlight
  • Screw drivers and wrenches of different sizes
  • Bungee cords
  • Pliers
  • Hammer

Before packing up, make one final check of the following:

  • Tires condition.
  • Check tires tread and look for signs of strain, bulges, or other damage.
  • Tire pressure, don’t over inflate.
  • Wipers and wiper fluid. When the rain falls, you don’t want to discover your wipers are useless. In addition, bug hits can really mess a windshield, so you’ll need a full fluid reservoir.
  • Coolant.
  • Flush radiator, if you haven’t done so in a while.
  • Fuses and Horn.
  • High and low beam headlights.
  • Oil, power steering, and brake fluid.
  • Loose cables heater and air conditioner, if making a seasonal trip.

Once you’ve ensured your car is in top shape, let’s dive into some easy yet effective driving strategies. Remember, you’re more than just a passenger in your car – your alertness and engagement matter just as much. Here’s a handful of straightforward tips to make the most out of your journey:

1. Stay Engaged: Don’t underestimate the power of conversation. Engaging in conversation with the driver can help keep everyone awake, motivated, and connected during those long stretches.

2. Know Your Limits: Plan your trip around your comfort zone. Whether you’re a 500-mile-a-day champ or prefer a more leisurely pace, tailor your journey to your endurance level. Longer trips may call for more breaks and rest.

3. Take It Easy on Speed: Opt for a steady pace over high speeds. Not only will you save on fuel, but you’ll also have more opportunities to savor scenic routes, mountain views, and winding roads.

4. Rest When Needed: Avoid energy drinks and excessive caffeine. If fatigue sets in, pull over and take a break. A 30-minute nap or checking into a motel can do wonders for your alertness and safety.

5. Beat Boredom: Embrace entertainment for those less scenic stretches. Tune into your favorite podcast, upbeat music, stand-up comedy, or an engaging audiobook to make the time fly by.

6. Mind Truck Etiquette: On the open road, give trucks some space. Tailgating can make truck drivers uneasy and distracted. Stay a safe distance behind and avoid becoming a source of concern for them.

As you set out on your next adventure, keep these simple tips in mind to ensure a smoother and more enjoyable road trip experience. With a well-prepared car and a mindful approach, you’re ready to embrace the open road with renewed enthusiasm.

With proper preparation before a trip, and a good attitude during a journey, you can make sure you not only survive a long trip – but also enjoy it. Bring your car into one of seven locations and have a pre-trip check up performed on your vehicle by one of our ASE master technicians. Here is what you will receive in one of our pre-trip check ups:

  • Full service standard oil change and filter (synthetic oil and special oil filters will be extra)
  • Tire rotation
  • Transmission fluid inspection
  • Coolant fluid inspection
  • Brake fluid inspection
  • Power steering fluid inspection
  • Battery fluid inspection
  • Fuel & air intake inspection
  • Belts & hoses inspection
  • Air, fuel, cabin filters inspection
  • 100% Peace of Mind!


Ten Locations Throughout NH and ME:

Manchester, NH

991 Candia Road | Manchester, NH 03109
(603) 232-1521

Merrimack, NH

738 D.W. Highway | Merrimack, NH 03054
(603) 429-1002

Hooksett, NH

1112 Hooksett Rd | Hooksett, NH 03106
(603) 644-7238

South Portland, ME

509 Westbrook St. | South Portland, ME 04106
(207) 773-8560

Wolfeboro, NH

635 Center St. | Wolfeboro, NH 03894
(603) 569-1068

Conway, NH

675 White Mountain Hwy | Conway, NH 03818
(603) 447-3873

Derry, NH

418 Island Pond Rd, Bldg #3 | Derry, NH 03038
(603) 845-3900

Lebanon, NH

258 Mechanic St, Lebanon, NH 03766
(603) 448-1381

Dover, NH

28 Sumner Dr, Dover, NH 03820
(603) 742-8627

Londoneryy, NH

107 Nashua Rd, Londonderry, NH 03053
(603) 404-5120

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