There's nothing more exciting or romantic than jumping in the car and hitting the highway with your friends and loved ones. Many adventures have taken place on a road trip, and it's easy to see the appeal of heading into unknown territory. A carefree attitude may seem appealing, but it's worth doing some basic preparation for any road trip, or it could all go rather wrong.

Here are 5 things you should do to prepare for any road trip.

Basic car maintenance is an absolute must 

Ensure that you check tire pressure, engine oil, and coolant level before hitting the road. Double-check that all your head and tail lights are in full working order, and that your windshield wipers are functioning correctly too. If you have time, it'd be worth bringing your vehicle into out service department so we could chck it out for you. Failing that, carry out these basic tasks yourself.

Plan your basic route

Always have contingency plans, in case there's roadwork or bad weather that puts you off in a certain direction. If you have a GPS system, program in the details of any proposed destinations so that you're ready to hit the road in the right direction.

Pack the right kit

It's not just a case of taking clean clothes and toiletries with you on a road trip. Think about all the things that you might need along the way. Blankets and pillows could make the trip more comfortable. Toys, games, and sports equipment could all be something you really want to use along the way, too, and a flashlight and a first aid kit could also be essential. It's worth planning this beforehand, because there'll only be a certain amount of space in the car. Your vehicle only has so much room, after all.

Think about food and drink

You don't want to have to buy all your food along the way, especially if you're driving in a remote location. Stock up on some basic provisions beforehand, including bottled water and snacks. A cooler will help keep bottles and perishable items at the optimum temperature. (Also, keep in mind food with a strong odor or that have a lot of packaging.)

Let people know where you are going

It's important that people know where you are or where you plan to be at intervals along the way. Remember that you may not always be able to rely on a mobile phone signal, so agree to let somebody know that you're OK at certain points in the journey. It's reassuring to know that if you get into difficulty, somebody at home is looking out for you.