Going on a road trip is a perfect way to get out of your usual schedule and relax your mind. It is also a great way to know your country better, meet new people, and bond with your loved ones.
The purpose of writing this article is to help you prepare for a safe and enjoyable road trip. We will provide you with a list of all the things you must check before D-Day.
Let us get right into it.
1. Check for Recalls
Car recalls are not unusual; they happen all the time.
When your car gets a recall, it means that some part of it poses an unreasonable safety risk or does not meet the minimum safety standards. The problem could be related to certain car parts, the car design, or even software-related. In any case, you should receive a phone call or a letter informing you of the issue and instructions on what to do. That, in most cases, involves taking your car to your dealer for repair.
If, for any reason, you do not receive the notification, check for recall through the NHTSA search tool. You will need to enter your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), and that is it.
2. Plan Ahead, Renew all Your Documents
Before the road trip, check to confirm that all the necessary documents are up to date; if not, renew them. These include:
- Your license plate sticker
- Your insurance
- Your driver’s license
- Your travel insurance
- Your passport
3. Perform Safety Checks
Before you take your car on a road trip, make sure you perform the following safety checks:
- Your tires and spare wheel(s); check the pressure and excessive wear and tear for repair or replacement. Also, check the wheel alignment for any adjustments.
- Confirm that all your lights are functioning properly
- Check the cooling system; confirm the coolant level for a refill. Also, check whether the fluid needs replacement.
- Oil and any other fluids; check for refill or replacement. While at it, check the condition of your brakes, filter, windshield washer reservoir, etc. Also, inspect the system for leaks.
- Check your air conditioning system; confirm that the fans are working well.
- Check to confirm that your wiper blades are working well. If not, replace them.
- Hoses and belts; are your hoses and belts functioning as they should? Check to confirm. Make sure you repair what needs repair and replace what needs replacement before the road trip.
4. Get Your Car Serviced
Your car needs regular maintenance with or without a road trip. It is essential to identify and fix any potential problems before they happen. Subsequently, this helps you prevent any unnecessary road car accidents and any injuries or fatalities that may occur as a result. It will also save you lots of cash on repair and medical expenses.
5. Stock Your Vehicle with a Safety Kit
Road trips can be fun, but they are also very unpredictable. Literally, anything can happen on a road trip turning your experience into a nightmare.
It is good to hope for the best, but, as a good driver, you should always prepare for the worst. The best way to achieve that is to stock your car with a safety kit.
According to NHTSA, your safety kit should include the following items:
- Phone and charger
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Jack and a ground mat
- Work gloves and clothes
- Water for drinking and cleaning up
- Paper towels
- Flares and a white flag
- Tire pressure gauge
- Nonperishable food and medicine
- Windshield washer fluid
- Duct tape
- Coats, blankets, and towels
- Maps for easy navigation
6. Bring Along a Few Repairs Necessities
In addition to the safety kit, you will need to include a few extra tools for repair. These include:
- Wrenches (set)
- Air compressor
- Jack stands
- Oil filter wrench
- Brake cleaner spray and many more
7. Plan Your Travel and Route
Once you confirm that your car is ready for the road trip, the next thing you will need to do is to prepare for the actual journey. Plan your travel and route for safety and convenience.
Some of the things you will need to do include but are not limited to
- Check the conditions of the roads; avoid bad roads at all cost
- Check the weather; avoid traveling during the rainy season, foggy or stormy weather, and any other unfavorable climates.
- Check the traffic; avoid routes with high traffic to prevent unnecessary delays.
8. Make a Schedule
When it comes to road trips, you have the freedom to do whatever you want. But your goal is to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. For that, you will need to make a schedule for your road trip.
For starters, you do not want to drive continuously for long hours. You might need to have one or two drivers to help you along the way. Make sure you plan for the times to alternate your role with the other drivers.
At some point, you will need to eat, sleep and freshen up. Plan when to stop to take a nap, find a hotel or restaurant to eat and sleep.
Your safety and that of the ones you love is one factor you cannot afford to overlook. That is why you need to plan well for it in advance.Luckily, now you know how to do that, thanks to this article. Most importantly, ensure that you are very well rested the day before your trip.