Do you love to get behind the wheel of your vehicle and just drive? If you like the feeling of travelling through life at the helm of your own destiny with your car to take you from place to place, then you might be ready for a road trip. But, before embarking on your journey, there are some things you need to do in order to stay safe and happy on the road. Keep reading for helpful tips.
Schedule an inspection.
Your car is more than a utilitarian vehicle. It is something you enjoy and an extension of your personality. You feel every movement as you gently manoeuvre it across the centre line whilst changing lanes. When you notice things begin to wobble, or it is simply time to go in for an inspection, always go to your trusted car repair services experts.
This is also a necessary to-do item before going on a road trip. Your vehicle needs to be in top working order to ensure it is reliable, and you can count on it to get you where you need to be and where you want to go from the beginning of your trip to the end.
When you schedule your inspection, ask the service rep to attend to any routine maintenance items per the vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines. In addition, you should request all of the fluids be inspected, replaced, and topped off as appropriate so you do not run dry while out and about.
Have small items, such as windshield wipers assessed and replaced if needed. Burnt-out light bulbs usually go unnoticed by the driver, so these should be checked, too. A general once-over is always best before a big driving trip, just in case.
Learn the basics.
When you are a car owner, you have responsibilities. Some of those responsibilities fall beyond the task of scheduling maintenance appointments. You need to know how to take care of your car and what to do if there is a problem. Being proactive will go a long way.
Watch this video for a quick guide on how to change a tyre.
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Download routes and maps.
As you probably already know, network connection and wifi can vary widely from excellent to spotty at best to completely unavailable, depending on where you are. In addition, other conditions and factors, such as inclement weather and outages can wreak havoc on your plans by rendering your attempts at connectivity useless.
The best way to avoid getting lost and losing your way is to download any routes and maps in advance of leaving your home. Consider it a part of any good packing checklist to ensure you accomplish this task every time you go on an extended trip. Always double-check after each download so you know you can rely on the maps as expected and there has not been an unintended technical error that you do not notice until you are underway and it is too late.
Some top maps and routes to download should include the following:
- International Trips – When travelling internationally, whether it is via a drive across a border bridge or in a rental car you pick up at the airport, the way your phone connects to service may vary. Always check with your cellphone provider before embarking on your trip to ensure you will have connectivity and are not surprised by the service options or rates when you return home.
- Rural Areas – Driving through remote, rural, or out-of-the-way areas can prove difficult if cell phone towers or satellite connections are not readily available. The possibility of happening upon a petrol station or pub where you can inquire about your location is not guaranteed, so planning ahead is key.
- Walking Paths – If part of your road trip itinerary leads you to off-the-beaten-path walking trails that are located on park land or within nature preserves, you will need guidance to get there, navigate the trails, and arrive safely back at your vehicle regardless of whether the sun has set. By downloading any local maps, you will be able to find your way and not ruin your holiday.
Stock your vehicle.
Any drive gets better when you prepare. Not only will you need a preloaded playlist for the road, but you will need a few snacks and other essentials to keep you ready and safe. Here are some items to stock in your vehicle before you depart:
- Sealed Water Bottles
- Reusable Water Bottle
- Non-perishable Food
- First Aid Kit
- Flashlight with Batteries
- Phone Charger
- Strobe Light
- Spare Tyre
- Tyre Jack
- Lug Wrench
- Basic Tool Kit
- Rain Poncho
- Portable Jump Starter
While this list is not all-inclusive, it will get you started. Add anything that pertains directly to you and your needs, such as medication or medical supplies, and contacts or glasses. Include pet care items and food if your furry friend is along for the ride.
Be mindful of communication.
A main component of travelling safely, whether you are alone or not, is to let people know where you are going and when you will return. If you are travelling solo, consider checking in with a friend or family member at pre-arranged intervals. This way, should you become ill or be involved in an accident, someone will know something is amiss. While you are at it, share your itinerary with that person and turn on any tracking notifications or apps on each of your respective smartphones so they can locate you if you miss a check-in time.
If you do not need or intend to document your entire trip on social media, no one but your trusted circle will know you are away and your home is unoccupied. Should you wish to post your travels for others to see, consider purchasing a home security system you can set and monitor from the road for added peace of mind and safety.
Before you head out on the open road for a driving adventure, follow these tips to stay safe. By taking care of your car, working out the logistics, and having a plan in place, your trip will be that much better. When you prepare well for the journey ahead, you will have more fun and worry less.