Are you singing that sweet tune? Join the club. The road trip is back as pandemic fears wane, and our collective wanderlust reawakens.  

To rev your engines, we’re offering ways to make hitting the road again easier. 

The tips include lessons from a retired colleague who just finished a Route 66 tour—her bucket list road trip of a lifetime.

  • Get plenty of sleep before your big drive.
  • Decide who sits where in advance. Rotate the middle seat if you have children.
  • Make a list and check it twice. Don’t leave before crossing off all your to-dos and to-brings. Keeping a list on your phone or iPad makes it easy to update and manage.
  • Going on a long trip? Do a trial packing of the car to make sure everything fits.
  • Make a snack run before traveling, picking everyone’s favorites. A snack basket and cooler can be a lifesaver for adults and children, heading off hangry moments. 
  • Don’t count on access to GPS. Prepare for spotty reception by downloading a map in advance—or buy an old-fashioned atlas; your children can learn to navigate. 
  • Feed Fido well ahead of the trip and make time for a bathroom break before hitting the road. Pack Fido’s clip-on travel water bowl along with water bottles for good hydration.
  • For young children, pack a daily surprise bag with activity books, special snacks and small toys—or a plastic basket filled with easily reached snacks. A lap tray with coloring books, crayons and road trip bingo cards works well.
  • For older children, you can’t beat earbuds and digital diversions. 
  • Identify potential stops for bathroom breaks before hitting the road each day. Any parent will recognize the value of doing this.
  • Download travel apps such as the National Park Service, GasBuddy and Storm Watcher.
  • Keep a paper towel roll and wet wipes in your vehicle. 
  • Bring your own pillows to avoid those from hotels that may prevent a good night’s sleep.
  • Make sure your car is properly serviced and tires are in good condition. 
  • With gas prices hitting all-time highs, AAA recommends you keep your tires properly inflated, pay in cash if there is a discount for doing so, and slow down a bit.