What You Need to Prepare Before Going on a Road Trip
Road trips are so much fun! Whether you are driving to another state for the weekend or hitting the open road for a month, there is something magical about going on a driving holiday. However, many things can go wrong when you are far away from home, and it is important to make sure that you are prepared for any emergencies that might arise. Here are a few things that you should do before you head out on your next road trip.
Make sure your car is covered
Before you start your road trip, make sure that you have full insurance coverage for your vehicle. Most states already require you to have basic auto insurance, but it is a good idea to ask your insurance agent about any additional coverage you may need for your trip. For instance, you may want to include comprehensive insurance to cover your car in case of theft or damage. You may also want to consider taking out roadside assistance, so you do not have to be stranded in an unfamiliar place.
You should also check whether your car warranty has expired. If your car is still under warranty, then you will not have to pay for the cost of repairs in case of a mechanical breakdown and you may be entitled to free roadside assistance as well. This will save you a tidy sum in the event that any of your essential car parts fail while you are out on your road trip. If your original car warranty is about to expire, you can consider purchasing an extended car warranty to give yourself more peace of mind.
Three weeks before your trip, have your vehicle thoroughly inspected by a qualified and experienced mechanic to make sure that it is in good condition. Car problems are more likely to happen when you are traveling at a great speed for long periods, so you want to root out potential issues before setting off. Research the road conditions where you will be heading and be sure that your car can handle them. For instance, if the road is wet and icy, be sure to have winter tires ready.
Plan your journey well
Planning is a key element of any successful road trip. Take time to familiarize yourself with the route you will be taking, so you can avoid any potential problems along the way. Unless you are an experienced trucker, make sure that you are driving no more than 400 miles per day and plan frequent rest stops to prevent yourself from getting too tired behind the wheel. If the distance to your destination is too far for you to drive safely, consider extending your road trip by a few more days.
These days, most people use their smartphones for navigation. However, there can be spots on the road where you lose cell signal. Hence, you should always make sure that you have a physical map handy for when you lose service. When navigating unfamiliar areas, it is safer to stick to major highways and avoid backroads whenever possible. Mark out all the gas stations and rest stops on your route so that you have an idea of where you can refuel, have a rest, and go to the bathroom.
An emergency kit is a collection of items that will come in handy if you find yourself in a tricky situation out on the road. The kit should include items such as a whistle, flashlight, batteries, first-aid supplies, a blanket, snacks and bottled water, pen and paper, and a basic tool kit. These items should be stored in a waterproof bag or container and easily accessible when required. You should also carry some car repair essentials such as jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, a wheel wrench, and a jack.
A few days before your trip, you may want to take your car out for a long drive to make sure it is working as expected and no unusual noises are coming from the engine. Fill your tank with gas and check that the pressure in your tires is adequate. Clean out any trash or unnecessary objects from the interior of your car. Ensure that you have important documents, insurance information, and emergency phone numbers stowed away in the glove box within easy reach.
Have a good night’s sleep the night before you set off, so you can give your undivided focus and attention to the road. Try to pack as much water and healthy snacks as you can, so you always have something to eat even if you are stuck in traffic. Ask someone back home to be your emergency contact. Check-in with them regularly during your travels to let them know that everything is fine. This way, they can notify the authorities if they have not heard from you after an agreed amount of time.
Now that everything has been properly planned and prepared, you can embark on your road trip with confidence and peace of mind. By allowing yourself plenty of time to make your daily distance, you can relax and enjoy places of interest along the way. Don’t forget to bring your camera, so you can capture memorable photos of your journey to share with your friends and family when you get home!