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Road trips are one of the best ways to travel and explore the world. Even those trips that don’t go further than your home state are full of fun and excitement—it’s freedom, camaraderie and collaboration that make road trips so unique.

But one thing will certainly suffer on your trip—your poor car. Here’s how to ensure your car is clean and maintained during your road trip so it can serve you for many more adventures in the future:

Clean the car before you embark

There’s no better feeling than starting your trip with a perfectly clean and fresh car. A day before your road trip, make sure to wash the car from the outside and vacuum it on the inside. Throw away all the trash and take out things you know you won’t need on your trip. With a clean slate, it will be much harder to make your car messy, and you’ll feel much less overwhelmed.

Washing Car

Set the rules

If you want to get your car home in perfect condition, it’s necessary to set a few rules for all travelers that will be sharing the car with you. Some of the rules that most people agree with are no smoking and drinking alcohol in the car—there’s no reason to explain these two rules. Next, most people try to avoid eating in the car because it can leave permanent stains (snacks are fine, though).

It’s also important to be mindful of what’s going on around you and be conscious of the tone, lest you disturb the driver. Also, you can designate tasks for each party member: the driver chooses the music, the co-pilot gives directions, and the back seat distributes the drinks and snacks.

Tackle carsickness

Sometimes, people in your car will get nauseous no matter how careful you’re trying to drive. In that case, make sure to have bags or containers at hand to make everyone feel more secure. These make for easy disposal after and offer a lot of safety.

You can also have toothpaste and toothbrushes at hand for your passengers so they can easily freshen up at the next gas station. Professionals always travel with some ginger ale and peppermint gums which are great for preventing carsickness.

keep your car clean

Protect the paint

If you’re planning to do a lot of driving in all weather conditions, it’s best to protect your car paint with a practical film. Today, you can find affordable protective coating for cars to keep the paint safe from dirt build-up, oxidation, sun damage and acid rain. Plus, these coatings reduce the drying time by 50% which is perfect when you need to go through the wash and storm off to stay on your road trip schedule. Plus, it’s very glossy, meaning your car will look amazing in your photos and even drone shots, if you want to elevate your road trip photography.

Get a trash can

Here’s a very easy and cheap trick that also helps immensely in keeping your car clean during a road trip: a trash can. You can get any small trash can with a baggy or get one designed specifically for cars. Either way, you’ll have one place where to throw all your trash, from Starbucks cups to chocolate bar wrappers and everything in between. And when you decide to make a stop for the night, just take your trash with you, empty the can and do the same thing again the next day—it’s easy, fast and hygienic.

Kill the smells

This is a tricky one. Whenever you eat or even take off your shoes in the car, you can expect to be hit with a lingering smell that can completely ruin your road trip. If your stomach is easily triggered, a nasty smell can cause a lot of nausea.

Solve this issue by stocking up on light air fresheners to kill the stench and leave your car smelling nice (just make sure to opt for a light fragrance instead of something overly strong). And if you prefer something even lighter, grab a bag of dryer sheets and leave it open under the seat. This is a trick that will leave your car smelling fresh without being overwhelming.

road trip tips

Make it comfy for your pup

If you’re traveling with a pet, don’t worry—you won’t have to spend hours lint-rolling your seats. Instead, get a dog hammock for cars that goes over the seats and creates a safe and comfy place for your pup to relax and enjoy the trip. This way, you can focus on the road and simply take out the hammock to wash when you come back home—no hairy and dirty seats.

Thanks to these tips, your car will look amazing when you both embark and return home from your road trip. Plus, your trip will be much less stressful and much more presentable in all those photos you’re bound to take.

Mike Johnston

Author Mike Johnston

Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced freelance writer. He is a regular contributor to numerous online publications, where he writes about travel, lifestyle, home improvement, and sustainable living.

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