Road trips can be a lot of fun, but they can also be hard on your vehicle. Make sure that you prepare your car properly before you head out. If you take the time to really go over your vehicle and make sure it’s all up to spec, you can take your trip with the confidence that you’ll be able to handle any problems that you may encounter along the way.
Check Over Your Vehicle
The very first thing that you should do is look over your vehicle to be sure that it’s ready for the trip. Have any necessary maintenance done, and clean it out so it’s nice and fresh for your trip. If you aren’t too sure about your ability to look over the vehicle thoroughly, consider taking it to a garage and having them look it over for you instead.
Check Your Emergency Supplies
Look over your emergency supplies to be sure they are in good order. Carry a good set of jumper cables, a first-aid kit and a spare tire. Also, take along vital fluids like oil and engine coolant just in case you need them during your trip.
Bring a Quality Mobile Phone
A mobile phone is one of your most important tools for long-distance road trips. That’s because if anything goes wrong, it’s going to be the tool that gets you out of trouble. You can quickly call in a tow truck, or get in touch with a relative to help you get out of trouble if you run into it. Make sure the battery is charged, and bring along a vehicle charger if you have one. An extra battery is another good consideration, or one of those rechargeable battery packs, to be sure that your phone is topped up throughout the trip. If you don’t have a way to keep it charged up, you can also turn off your fully charged phone, and save the battery life for when you really need it.
Map Out the Route
Before you leave your home, make sure that you map out your route and print off directions to follow along the trip. You should do this even if you have a quality GPS. As you have probably experienced before, GPS is great, when it works. A map in your glove compartment works every time, even if Google Maps doesn’t.
Consider Getting A Road Club Membership
There are road club services such as AAA that offer protection in case something goes wrong while you are away from home. You could utilize such a service to get towed, have your battery charged, or have a number of other problems fixed to keep you from getting stranded. These services are usually quite affordable, and can often save a trip that’s starting to go bad.
Carry Important Driving Documents
Always carry your insurance card, driver’s license and your automobile registration when you travel. If you get pulled over, you’ll need to be able to supply these documents, so keep them handy.
As long as you take care of these things before you head off on a road trip, you shouldn’t encounter any problem you can’t handle. Just make sure to plan the trip well before you leave the house so you that your only worry will be making great road trip memories.
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The Woman with the GPS Brain
One of my favorite memories from growing up was a family road trip to California. We didn't need maps or compass; Mom had a GPS brain.