They say when it comes to a great holiday, getting there is half the fun.
However, if your road trip is plagued with calamity, it might be a long, long time before you can look back on it and laugh. Here’s how to ensure your next adventure is the best of times, not the worst.
1) Check Your Priorities
Planning for a road trip is exciting, and chances are your primary focus is on attractions and events you intend to enjoy. New Zealanders, in particular, spend a lot of time driving when on holiday, and there are some fabulous road trip itineraries ripe for adventure. At the same time, with a recent emphasis on road safety, it’s paramount to ensure you and your vehicle are well-prepared. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
In the end, no matter where you are or where you’re going, being safe and sound are the keys to having a great and memorable holiday.
2) Recognize Limitations
Pay special attention to your car and make an honest evaluation of its readiness for adventure. Plan to give it a thorough once-over, and whatever tasks are beyond your skill set, hire an auto mechanic to complete. Along with any maintenance or safety concerns, you should be fully aware of your vehicle’s limits. For instance, some cars are well-suited to urban travel but ill-suited to mountain treks.
Similarly, if you have a small fuel tank, you don’t want to overextend legs and end up on the side of the road, trying to flag assistance. You should understand how the pros and cons apply to your particular make and model; for example, according to Gumtree, the Toyota Corolla has great fuel economy, but its interior space is limited.
3) Give Your Car a Check-Up
If you’re at all mechanically inclined, there are ample things you can do to ensure your vehicle is properly roadworthy. Begin by changing your car’s oil and filter with these step-by-step instructions from Family Handyman, making sure to purchase the proper oil and filter for your vehicle. Giving your car a tune-up is also in order. Thankfully, both jobs are quite simple and can be completed by a handy layperson in an hour or two.
Once you’re done under the hood, examine your tires. Check your tread depth to ensure you aren’t due for replacements, and also check tire pressure and verify you are within the manufacturer’s guidelines. Ensure you have a spare tire on hand, and that you know how to change it, and install new wiper blades in the event you’re hit with a downpour.
4) Tidy Up Your Transportation
If your vehicle will be your primary mode of transportation, the last thing you want is a cluttered or uncomfortable environment for your holiday. What’s more, loose belongings can get in your way potentially becoming hazardous during travels.
Give it a thorough cleaning, and organize the space so you will feel more at ease and won’t be subject to items jostling about.
5) Brush Up on Road Safety
A quick refresher on road safety can have your mind and skills sharp for whatever comes your way. Be sure you are familiar with the route you’re planning and have accommodations lined up in advance. A little technology can go a long way toward keeping things simple. Lifewire suggests installing a few apps on your smartphone to make road trips a breeze since you can access everything from itinerary assistance to alerts of road hazards.
You don’t want to overlook important details in the midst of planning a holiday, and ensuring your vehicle is up to snuff needs to rank toward the top of your priorities. Give your car a thorough once-over before you get rolling, gather appropriate information, and brush up on road safety. Your next adventure will be top-notch thanks to your preparedness.