Road trips are a fun getaway even when you just need to escape the monotonous reality for a couple of hours. As there are no rules governing how long a road trip should be, it could be a couple of hours long or even a couple of days or weeks long, the choice is entirely up to you. Prior to a good road trip though, proper planning is required. The last thing you would want is to be stranded in the middle of an isolated highway with a broken down car and without any hope for road rescue. So what are some of the preparations you could make in advance to ensure you have a great trip?
1. Plan your destination
Start by deciding on where you intend to drive. Estimate the distance as well as the pit stops you will make along the way. This will assist you in deciding on the amount of supplies you would need to prepare in case you get stranded; and it will also help you gauge the capability of your vehicle to cover the entire distance of your road trip.
2. Service your vehicle
You will need to perform a couple of checks on your car to certify its roadworthiness especially for the anticipated distance. This will include:
Look at your engine oil and coolant, windshield-washer fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and power-steering fluid. Replace whatever needs replacing and top up whatever might need the same too. This is particularly important if your car uses non-standard fluids.
Trying to change taillights when the vehicle is packed full with luggage can be somewhat of a nuisance, do it while you are still at home. Ensure that your headlights are working well and replace them if necessary.
3. Check your tires
Are the treads won out? Is your tire pressure up to the allowed amount especially since you are carrying quite a sizeable weight? Have these checked and make any necessary adjustments. Tightening your lug nuts would also be a good idea at this point owing to the anticipated driving vibrations that may loosen them.
4. Check on your spares
Have your spare tire inflated and in good condition; have spare air and cabin filters if you anticipate driving through some dirt trails. Have special fluids intact because you might need to do some topping up… make sure you have all the necessary spares that you might need.
5. Pack your toolkit
Hopefully, nothing shall come up on your road trip but either way, have the necessary tools with you because you might need to do some handy work. This pretty much entails having screwdrivers, wrenches, jacks and even a flashlight.
6. Personal emergency kit
You might have calculated the distance between your pit stops and anticipated the supplies you might need before refreshing your stack; but carry extra just in case. Make sure you have extra water, non-perishable snacks, Kleenex, first aid kit and some warm supplies like blankets.
7. Maps and GPS
Just play it safe and get a map just in case. Who knows when your dependable memory might fail you and anyway, you may need to find some new places in strange locations?
8. Vehicle documents
Have your registration papers, insurance documents and the contact information of your dealer or car hire agency. Carry your national identity card, passport and driver’s license with you too. They are necessary especially if you are traveling in a foreign country.
9. Electronics and entertainment
Create a special mix tape or playlist for the journey to keep your entertained. Also, make sure you have your electronics and all the necessary cables relating to them. Don’t forget to carry your phone chargers because you might have to live in your car, literary.
10. Personal checklist
Have a list of the special needs of the family members or those you intend to go on the road trip with. Does anyone get carsick? Have extra paper bags close by for them. Is someone asthmatic? Make sure you have their inhalers. Does someone wear contact lenses? Make sure they have their fluid case with them. These small details will come in handy along the road.