How to Plan the Perfect Spring Break Road Trip

How to Plan the Perfect Spring Break Road Trip

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Ready to hit the open road and enjoy some sun and sand this spring break? Before you pack your bags and load up the car, you need to ensure that your vehicle is road trip ready. Today’s article covers everything you need to plan the perfect spring break road trip and keep your car in tip-top shape along the way.

Image of a car mechanic checking oil.

Step 1: Get Tuned-Up for a Spring Break Road Trip

Before hitting the road, ensure your vehicle is in good working order. You’re here to take a break, not breakdown. So before you take off, here are some tune-up tips: 

  • Check your oil. Neglecting an oil change can cause engine damage, so… don’t? Here’s a great video on how to change your oil: 

  • Fill your tires. Check your owner’s manual to determine the correct tire pressure for your vehicle, and ensure that your tires are inflated to the recommended level. Proper tire pressure can help your car handle better and improve its fuel efficiency — according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can improve your gas mileage by up to 3% by keeping your tires well-inflated. 
  • Check your fluids. In addition to checking your oil, it’s worth making sure that your brake, transmission, windshield washer, coolant, and power steering fluids don’t need refilling. You can learn more about checking and replacing these fluids here!
  • Test your brakes, steering, and wiper blades. Make sure your brakes and steering feel responsive and reliable. If anything feels “off,” have a mechanic inspect your car before you leave for break. It’s also worth making sure that your wiper blades are in good shape — the last thing you want in rough weather are blades that can’t effectively shunt water, sleet, snow, or mud off your windshield.
Image of someone snacking out of a car.

Step 2: The Bare Necessities

When you’re on a spring break road trip, it’s essential to have the basics covered. Let’s look at some items you should keep in your car at all times:

  • Nonperishable snacks. Granola bars, trail mix, and other nonperishable snacks are perfect for keeping hunger at bay on long drives. If your car breaks down, having food and water with you can be a lifesaver (literally).
  • Jumper cables or a battery charger. You never know when you might need a jumpstart, so having the tools to get your car up and running at the ready is always a good idea.
  • A flashlight and first-aid kit. In case of emergencies, a flashlight and first-aid kit are must-haves. Make sure they’re easily accessible — the glove compartment can hold more than just your registration!

Want to be prepared for any and all eventualities? Check out our list of 10 things you should always have in your car.

Image of someone driving safely on a spring break road trip.

Step 3: Drive Safe

Now that your car is ready to hit the road for spring break, it’s time to make sure the road doesn’t hit back. Here are some tips to keep you (and your friends) safe on the road:

  • Take frequent breaks. Driving for long periods can lead to highway hypnosis, a condition that causes drivers to become fatigued and lose concentration after driving for long periods. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), highway hypnosis can be linked to around 100,000 accidents per year. To prevent fatigue, take breaks every hour or so to stretch your legs and refresh your mind.
  • Keep an eye on the weather. Spring weather can be unpredictable, so check the forecast before you go. If bad weather awaits, adjust your travel plans (and outfits) accordingly.
  • Map out gas and/or charging stations. Knowing where you’ll stop for fuel, power, and bathroom breaks or snacks ahead of time will help make your trip less stressful. 

Our Top Three Cars for Spring Breakers

Maybe you’re looking to rent something to show out in, maybe you’re conveniently in the market for a new (used) car — whatever the case, here are our top three cars for spring breakers in 2023.

The Attention Getter: Dodge Challenger

If you’re looking for a ride that’ll catch eyes this spring break, it’s hard to go wrong with a Dodge Challenger. These retro-styled muscle cars can come complete with a V6 or V8 powertrain depending on the trim you select, giving all the get-up-and-go you’ll need. 

A roomy cabin lets you fit in a few friends without cramming. Newer Challengers also boast impressive performance on NHTSA crash tests and come complete with safety features such s blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, making the Challenger a great car for getting around in both safety and style. 

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The Party Bus: Cadillac Escalade

Looking for something the whole squad can make an impression in? An Escalade may be calling your name. These classic SUVs boast an immediately-recognizable chassis that evoke luxury on sight, and V6 or V8 powertrain options offer more power than one may expect. 

Sure, you may not get the best gas mileage – but let’s be honest, nobody’s in an Escalade for fuel efficiency. If you want an impressive appearance, comfortable ride, and a quiet cabin, the Escalade won’t let you down as a spring break party bus.

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The Reliable Road-Tripper: Jeep Grand Cherokee & Grand Cherokee 4xe

If the thought of a reliable road-tripper that’ll comfortably fit your friends appeals more than muscle cars and luxury SUVs, the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is here for you. Boasting a fuel economy of up to 57 MPG when consistently charged and five seats, the 4xe is a great car for convoying to the nearest beach, whether on spring break or not. 

A solid four-cylinder engine provides more power to the 4xe than one may expect, thanks in no small part to Jeep’s excellent engineering. The Trailhawk trim also makes an appearance here, giving drivers a more adventurous option if they don’t mind splashing out a little more. Comfort, efficiency, power — it’s hard to find something that the 4xe does wrong. 

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With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to planning the perfect spring break road trip — and making a splash with a ride perfect for the occasion. Have fun, and stay safe!

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