6 Smart Hacks and Essentials for Planning Your Best Summer Road Trips Ever

Ah, summer road trips: The wind in your hair, your favorite song on the radio and miles of open road in front of you. OK, so maybe the reality looks a little more like your kids arguing in the backseat, lanes full of traffic and never-ending bathroom stops. Either way, the road trip isn’t just about getting from point A to point B; it’s really all about the journey—with a little preparation, of course. That’s why we’re sharing these smart hacks and road trip safety essentials, including turning to the auto glass repair professionals at Safelite®. Then all that’s left for you to do is enjoy the ride.

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1. Replace Your Damaged Windshield

First on your road trip prep list? Get your car ready for all those miles by taking care of any maintenance and ensuring all safety features are up to date. That means making sure to address any chips or cracks in your vehicle glass. If you need to have your windshield replaced, better to have it done before hitting the open road. And since replacing a windshield on a vehicle containing a forward-facing camera requires a recalibration, you’ll be that much safer on your adventures. Sounds complicated, but Safelite makes it simple: In most cases, they can handle both services in one appointment.

What’s recalibration, you ask? Advanced safety features such as lane keep assist, forward collision warning or auto emergency braking utilize a forward-facing camera attached to or just behind the windshield, which requires a recalibration after a windshield replacement. Recalibrating the advanced safety systems ensures that all of these features work properly to keep you safe. When you make an appointment with Safelite, a trained technician will be able to complete the recalibration required by your manufacturer. You’ll then have peace of mind that your car is in tip-top shape—essential for any fun and safe road trip.

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2. Organize Your Trunk

Road trips generally require a fair amount of stuff, aka everything from a well-stocked cooler to the kids’ bike helmets and an extra set of sheets for the Airbnb. Another road trip safety essential? Safelite’s professional-grade glass cleaner for ensuring that all your car’s windows are clean and streak-free for maximum visibility and safety. Corral everything with a nifty trunk organizer that’s durable, waterproof, collapsible and secures with a strap system that fastens to your backseat or anchor points in the trunk. We have a feeling it’ll stay in your trunk well past summer.

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3. Get Smart Savings On Gas

Try an app that helps drivers save on fuel costs using info provided by other users. You can locate the cheapest fuel amongst different types, find gas stations based on distance and price, and help others find less expensive gas by reporting prices. It’s community-based saving and we’re here for it. Just don’t forget the car charger for your phone.

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4. Stock Your Emergency Kits

File this one under: A must-have during road trips…or any trips. A well-stocked first-aid kit is not only vital for any minor scrapes or bruises that might occur, some of them also include things like a sewing kit, safety pins, glow stick, blanket and compass that are useful in various situations—from repairing your kid’s ripped stuffed animal to bigger emergencies. The same goes for your car: Make sure you have jumper cables, a spare tire, and flares or reflectors, just in case. Speaking of road trip safety, you might also want to replace your wiper blades before heading out.

Safelite recommends you change your wiper blades about every 6 months and anytime you have your windshield replaced, since running your wipers over damaged glass can also damage the wiper blades, causing streaking and smearing. Luckily, Safelite’s wiper blades have a clean, clear, quiet wipe and are designed to perform under the most extreme conditions. Your Safelite technician can even install your new blades for you at the time of service.

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5. Make Lasting Memories

Forgo your smartphone camera and bring along a Polaroid or disposable camera for yourself or your kids to document your journey along the way. Not only is this a fun way to keep kids entertained during a long day of travel, but it’ll leave you with plenty of mementos you can add to a photo album or hang up on the fridge at home. Just make sure to get your damaged windshield repaired or replaced first at Safelite, so your photos aren’t clouded or obscured.

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6. Prep Car-convenient Games

Speaking of keeping kids entertained… Avoid constant repetitions of “are we there yet?” by thinking ahead and planning a few fun games. Make bingo cards that include images or words associated with things they might see through their window during the trip (cows, police cars, bicycles, airplanes, etc.), stock up on coloring books or create a printout for reference and play the old-school license plate game.

Planning to hit the open road? Book your appointment with Safelite online now to set yourself up for a successful, and most importantly, safe trip.

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Senior Editor, Branded Content

Kelsey is a New York City-based writer, copy editor and Senior Editor of Branded Content at PureWow. She has over a decade of digital media experience covering travel, music...