There are many traditions we cherish in America, but none of them capture our imagination quite like the cross-country road trip.

A coming of age ritual for many young adults, the freedom, spontaneous experiences, and dramatic scenery one witnesses along the way creates memories that make for the best times of our lives.

If you are about to do this trip yourself, though, it is crucial you take the time to take the proper preparations before heading out, as there are many potential situations that may put a damper on your fun.

Arranging an insurance plan is a given (read Omega Auto Care Reviews, as many past customers rave about them), but there are many steps you can take before hitting the road which will make your trip safe and enjoyable for all.

In this article, we’ll detail preparations you should make before jumping behind the wheel to take the trip of a lifetime.

1) Get your car checked out

Your vehicle is a dependable tank, or so you think. It has never failed you in the years you have owned it; therefore, it should run smoothly on this trip too, right?

Don’t be so sure, as problems have a habit of materializing when they are least welcome.

Even those who practice regular preventative maintenance are not immune, as mechanics are human, and parts can go bad within a matter of weeks.

Somewhere in your car, a vital system could be on the edge of the abyss, so it helps just to check and be sure before taking off on holiday.

Put your vehicle through a multi-point inspection that will inspect its most mission critical systems. If anything glaring is found, you’ll be able to get them fixed on the spot, thereby preventing them from ruining your trip.

Be sure the fluids, brakes, and tires are checked first, as these are often the cause of the biggest problems for road trippers.

2) Give the inside a thorough cleaning

You might think that there is no problem with the interior of your car. However, you should know that you probably have become habituated to its lived-in state from day-to-day.

You need to consider your friend’s first impression when they set foot inside your ride. They will be existing in this environment for days on end, so be honest with yourself.

We hate cleaning as much as you do, but taking some time to spruce up the backseat and to do some vacuuming, as this will make your vehicle livable for your crew.

3) Put together a drink and snack cooler

While it’s true that you’ll be stopping multiple times for meals and to gas up, there will be times where you will need to focus on getting from point A to point B.

To prevent hunger or thirst from derailing your plans, keep a cooler loaded to the brim with beverages and various snack foods.

Not only will this keep you on the road when you need to make some serious miles, but it will keep you comfortable in the middle of nowhere or in the unlikely event of a breakdown.