Road Trip Tips
Have an upcoming trip planned? Taking a road trip for the holidays? Road trips demand preparation, but exactly what kind of steps are necessary?
First, we suggest you call your mechanic. Schedule a “tune-up.” Make sure all of the lights, fluids, and any other necessities are checked. Be sure to address any concerns you might have and ask your mechanic if he or she has any concerns about your vehicle. Also, call your insurance agent. It is important to know what coverage you carry, or could carry, that could help ease the stress of a road side emergency.
Make sure your in-car toolkit, better known as the trunk, is prepared with all the essentials. Exactly how prepared you want to be is up to your discretion, but things like: a tire iron, spare tire, first-aid kit, reflectors/flares, bottled water, fire extinguisher, and blanket, are all things the Travel Channel suggests are must haves! And remember, just because you have a spare tire doesn’t mean it is in working order. Take a good look before hitting the road to make sure it is properly inflated and treads are intact.
It also goes without saying to make sure you have your vehicle registration and current I.D. Cards with you, just in case that lead foot gets the best of you.
Traveling with your children? Entertainment might help to cure all of those “are we there yet?” questions. Start a scavenger hunt, play the license plate game, grab a portable DVD player, those always help. Having snacks handy will also help to ease that child-induced insanity during the long drive.
Next, check gas mileage. Gas prices are forever on the rise, at least it feels that way. If you know how many miles your car usually gets to the gallon, it’s easy to measure estimated fuel costs. You can check out AAA’s fuel cost calculator to get an overall estimate of how much you are likely to spend.
As we get closer to winter, slick roads will also become more common. Winter weather can present many headaches, things like: slowing down before reaching curves and turns, planning ahead for lane changes, looking out for ice patches or piles of wet leaves on overpasses, and increasing the following distance behind the vehicle in front of you, are all good tips to keep in mind. Also, put a few extra blankets in the car just in case you might need them to keep warm in the event your vehicle stops running.
Have any tips we didn’t mention? Drop a comment below for others to see. Your tip might just save someone else from their next road trip emergency.