7 Tips To Prep Your Car For Summer Road Trips: Get Your Car Ready Now

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Written by: Diana Kelly Levey

One of our favorite parts of summer is going on road trips. Sure, we’re biased because we’re car lovers, and more time in our vehicles generally makes us pretty happy. But we’re not alone in our excitement for engaging in four-wheeling travel fun this season.

Looking forward to summer road trips, but dreading the packing, unpacking and the sand or dirt that seems to linger in the car until the holidays? Here are seven tips on maximizing car organization with the right vehicle accessories and packing your car for summer road trips and other fun adventures.


1. Give Your Car a Health Assessment

It’s always a good idea to check your maintenance schedule before hitting the road. Is your car due for an oil change? Be sure to check your tire treads, assess tire pressure and pack a tire inflator for on-the-go fill-ups. Air pumps and compressors are great to stash in the car for summer road trips, whether pumping up an inflatable pool, float, or air mattress that you’ll be sleeping on while you camp or stay overnight at music festivals. Remember to check on and fill up any fluids running low before going on your road trip.


2. Prevent Damage With Pet Protectors

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If your four-legged family members are road trip renegades with you, ensure you’re protecting your car seats with pet pads and protectors. It’s also a good idea to make sure they are restrained with seatbelt adjusters or kept in crates. Always be prepared for pets who get carsick by packing cleaning products and towels.


3. Keep Your Car’s Paint Intact

If your road trip leads you to a destination where you’ll park your vehicle for a few days or longer, cover it with a car cover. This can help protect it from weather elements, pollen, dings and scratches from other car owners and passengers in parking lots. It'll also help reduce things like saps, pine needles, leaves and bird droppings if you park in a wooded area while you camp or enjoy a lakeside retreat.


4. Stash Cold Drinks, Snacks and Meals for Easy Access

One of the best parts of going on a road trip? The food you’ll eat along the way, of course! Whether you’ve packed many road trip snacks, meals and drinks or identified some restaurants you’re looking forward to dining at along the way, you’ll want to keep a few snacks in the car. We recommend some iceless coolers that can be plugged into your car’s 12V receptacle to keep drinks and food cold or, alternatively, help food stay warm if you’re taking a homecooked meal on a road trip and need it to stay hot for a few hours.


5. Keep Backseat Passengers Engaged

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A multi-pocket car organizer that attaches to headrests will be helpful for any parents traveling with children. These car organization tools can hold snacks, favorite toys, games, coloring books, stuffed animals, a rolled-up blanket, and tablets or electronic devices. Ideally, they’re easy for an older child to reach and grab what they need or can be accessed by the front passenger. Look for water-resistant backseat organizers that are easy to clean because, well…kids.


6. Maximize Every Inch

Even if you weren’t built with an organizing bone in your body, it’s easy to pack for summer road trips when you’re using a good trunk organizer. We recommend a multi-compartment trunk organizer that’s easy to fold and store so you always keep it on hand.

Watch influencer, Mobile Mama, review this multi-compartment organizer.


A net organizer that clips between the front seats is one of our favorite car accessories for road trips. It makes it easy for the driver and passenger to access road trip essentials, like wallets, phones, drinks, lip balm, and anything else you need within arm’s reach. It’s never a bad idea to stash bug repellant, sunscreen, extra water, shelf-stable snacks and an emergency kit in your trunk organizer for a road trip.


7. Make It Easy To Clean Up

While protecting your car from mud, leaves, sand and other summer grime is the best method to employ with floor coverings, you will likely wind up with some unwanted dirt during and after your road trip. Make it easy to toss out the trash at rest stops by hanging a plastic back on the back of a headrest for easy access while you’re racking up the miles. Keep baby wipes, toilet paper rolls, hand sanitizer, paper towels and extra bottles of water on hand for any “just in case” messy situation that crops up.

Wherever your road trip takes you this summer, planning ahead and organizing your car will go a long way to ensuring you have a stress-free ride with family and friends.

What are your favorite road trip car accessories and trunk organization tips? Please share with us in the comments.

Last updated June 5, 2023