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Phoenix to California Road Trip Basics

empty highwayAre you ready for an interstate road trip? Residents in Phoenix may feel compelled to take a road trip to visit Disneyland, the beaches of San Diego or the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. These trips can be a lot of fun, especially if you are going with friends or family. However, such long trips can also take a serious toll on your vehicle. Never depart on a long journey without a thorough road trip checklist. If you want to know how to go on a road trip safely, follow these points.

Keep Water in Your Car

It can be fairly hot in Arizona and even California regardless of what time of year it is. Therefore, you want to make sure you stay hydrated. Pack plenty of water in your vehicle before leaving. It is also a good idea to have plenty of snacks on hand, too. You will need a cooler if you want to bring anything that requires refrigeration.

Pull Over If You Feel Tired

It takes about six hours to get from Phoenix to Disneyland. Heading to San Francisco is even longer. If you feel tired at any point, then do not be afraid to pull over and rest up. In the event you are traveling with others, you can trade off driving duties in case you need to make it somewhere at a specific time.

Plan Gas Stops

Before driving too far out, you want to fill up while you are still in a major city. Once you are out on the open road, you may not see gas stops all that often. It is helpful to know where you can stop to fill up. The same rule can be applied to meals. Know where you will find food. If you are driving toward Los Angeles, then you can make Blythe part of your road trip checklist. This is a small town that has a number of restaurants and gas stations.

Do Not Speed

Whether you take the I-8 or I-10, you want to make sure you obey all traffic laws in both Arizona and California. The speed limit can get up to 70 mph, but you do not want to go any faster than that. The highway patrol will not hesitate to pull you over if you’re speeding. Do not hamper your road trip by driving too fast and spoiling a good time with a speeding ticket.

Take in the Sights

Regardless of what your ultimate destination is, you never know when you will be in California again. Feel encouraged to break up the trip and see everything the Golden State has to offer. If you have kids with you, then you will want to check out the giant dinosaurs in Cabazon, a city west of Palm Springs. If you are heading up to San Francisco, then make a detour to see Lake Tahoe. There is a lot to see and do in California, so give yourself plenty of time to see everything.

Be Prepared 

It is better to pack too much than too little. Make sure you check off the following on your road trip checklist before leaving:

  • First aid kit
  • Blanket
  • Flashlight
  • Basic tools
  • Spare cash

Hopefully, your journey will go smoothly, but you always want to be prepared. It is recommended to have these items in your car at all times if you can.

Take Your Car in for Service Beforehand

Before leaving on a road trip of any length, you should take your vehicle into an auto repair shop to ensure it can make the trek safely. You want a professional technician to look at your car’s brakes, transmission, and engine. Everything should be in fine working condition. If something is off, then you want to address it before you go on the road. This is also a good time to get all your car’s fluids replaced and make sure all the tires are aligned.

Before you worry about how to go on a road trip, think about whether your vehicle can handle the journey at all. When you have your car inspected by the technicians at Sun Devil Auto, our crew will let you know whether your vehicle is equipped to handle a road trip. We are also more than happy to answer common questions about vehicle maintenance, and we can help you cross off important items on your road trip checklist.