There are few things in life as freeing as hitting the open road with little more than a vague destination and a full tank. However, while a road trip can be an exhilarating adventure, offering the freedom to explore new places and create lifelong memories, it’s essential to make thorough preparations if you want it to be a dream rather than a nightmare.
Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance
A well-maintained car not only ensures safety and prevents potential accidents but also prevents breakdowns and there’s nothing more inconvenient than a breakdown on a road trip. First, check your tyres (air pressure and tread depth) and make sure there’s at least one spare in the boot alongside the tools needed to change it.
Next, check your brakes to make sure they’re working correctly. As a rule of thumb, any squeaking or grinding noises should be addressed immediately. You’ll also need to inspect all essential fluids, including engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid, maketop-ups and changes as required, and ensure all lights are functional (and nice and bright).
Finally, are you asking yourself “is gap insurance worth it?” Consider the age of your car. If your car is brand new, then it can provide necessary financial protection in case your vehicle is stolen or declared a total loss.
Route Planning and Navigation
While it could be argued the joy of a road trip is setting off wherever the whims of the road take you, there is some wisdom in planning your route in advance. This way you can have a rough idea of what time you’ll reach your destination and be able to plan for any road closures or accidents. Thankfully, most modern smartphones can use Google Maps, which provides real-time traffic updates and is an indispensable tool for road-tripping in the 21st century.
First-Aid Kit – A well-stocked first-aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary medications.
Torch and Tools – Keep a torch and basic tools (screwdriversand jumper cables in case of emergencies) in the glovebox. Of course, your phone can also be used as a torch so investing in a phone charger to plug into your car’s cigarette lighter might be a good idea too.
Roadside Assistance Plan – Consider signing up for a roadside assistance plan, such as theAA, to provideaid in case of breakdowns or accidents. Because they can happen, no matter how good a driver you are.
Snacks and Entertainment – Finally, stock up on snacks, drinks, and entertainment options like tablets and portable game consoles to keep everyone entertained during the journey, particularly if you’re bringing the kiddos along for the ride!