Unfortunately, we live in a world today where it doesn't necessarily make sense to just 'jump in the car and go'. There are things to consider such as knowing where it is you are going, the condition of the roads that will transport you there as well as how much money you have in your budget for things such as food, gasoline and shelter. You would be amazed at how many people forget or neglect things as basic as these!
When planning a road trip, the very first thing that you will want to make sure of is the condition of the vehicle that you will be taking on the trip. If you are taking your car, make sure that you have all of the pertinent information that goes along with the car such as the driver's instructional manual for how the car operates. You will also want to make sure that you keep the vehicle registration and proof of insurance somewhere inside of your vehicle, and make sure that your registration card is signed (police officer will ticket you if it's not!). Other things to make sure that you keep within the vehicle include an emergency kit. An emergency car kit should include some or all of the following items: a first aid kit, a flashlight, a set of jumper cables, flares, batteries, Swiss army knife, non perishable food, an extra set of clothes and a blanket.
While technology has come a long way, it is far from perfect which is why you should always make sure that your cell phone is charged up and ready to go. Bring along both your car charger as well as a wall mounted charger for the ride in case you get stuck somewhere. It is also a good idea to have a couple of emergency contact phone numbers written down and labeled as such in the event that something happens to you and emergency technicians or others need to reach someone in your family. Regarding more of the fun stuff, I like to always make sure that my iPod is charged and ready to go with hours of my favorite music. Take some time out to rearrange or arrange play lists so that you have something to keep you energized for the long ride.
While some don't really care, it is a smart idea to bring along a paper version of map versus solely relying on a GPS device. Again, you don't ever want to trust in technology too completely because it has been known to fail. Before you get in your car, check the tire pressure and know what your personal settings should be for each of your tires. The worst thing that you could do is drive around on tires that are either under-inflated or over inflated. Just making a few changes to your lifestyle can wind up saving you a ton of money in the long run.