How to Prepare Your Car For a Road Trip

Planning a road trip with your family can be an exciting and stressful time. But, it isn’t just where you’re going and what you’re doing that you need to plan for. Your car is the most important aspect of your trip. Without it, you won’t get to do the things you’re excited about doing. A car driving from A to B needs to be maintained on a regular basis, so a car transporting a family on a long-haul journey should be prepared for it. Here’s how to get that done.

How to Prepare Your Car For a Road Trip

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Book A Check-Up

Before heading off, it’s important to book your car into the garage to check for any potential damage. Bad news is the last thing you want to hear but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Paying a bit of money to ensure you have a safe trip and don’t end up breaking down at any point is worth it. Your mechanics can also provide basic maintenance, like topping up your oil and water and checking tyre pressure or adjusting tracking. It all make for a smoother ride.

Remember Your Battery

When you’re on the road, it’s easy to think of your car as your second home. Would you leave the lights on in your house if you went out? Of course not. The same applies to your car. Don’t leave your lights on while you’re camping in the woods. Don’t leave the radio on if the engine isn’t running. You can make sure your battery is clean and running on top form with some water and baking soda. Here are some tips on maintaining battery life.

How to Prepare Your Car For a Road Trip

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Don’t Pack Heavy

Do you know your cars load capacity? When you fill a car with heavy things, you don’t just go slower. Carrying too much weight can seriously damage the car and you run the risk of having to deal with mechanical problems along the way. Find out your cars load capacity and calculate how much you can safely carry. Remember to include the weight of your family in your calculations. Fortunately, when it comes to packing clothes, you can easily go light on a road trip with good weather.

Assume the Worst, Hope for the Best

No matter how much preparation you do, you can never guarantee that things won’t go wrong. That being said, you may want to prepare for the eventuality that something does go wrong. It’s handy to have your Visa with you in these situations and you can get one from ESTA. If you happen to break down in an unpopulated area, it could be a while before you’re rescued. You’ll need to have a blanket, torch, first aid kit and bottled water. If your car can manage it, it may also be useful to carry a spare tyre and a car jack so you can be on your way quickly in the event of a flat.

A Navigation System

Gone are the days when couples argue over which way they need to go on the map. Now they just shout at the navigation system when it takes them the wrong way. In all seriousness, a navigation system can make your journey a whole lot easier and more relaxed. With a quick search and configuration, you can be on your way to your destination in less than a minute.

Know When to Stop

Not all the faults can be blamed on the car; the driver has to take some responsibility. Driving on long-haul trips can take its toll and a driver needs to take a break every now and then. Make sure you get plenty of rest and stop regularly for food and drink. Don’t be tempted to drive longer than you should to reach a destination, especially if it’s during the night. If you do find yourself driving at nighttime and you’re tired, open your window to let in some cold air and stop as soon as you can.

How to Prepare Your Car For a Road Trip

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Know the Road Signs

If you’re travelling to a different country, you may want to brush up on your road signs first. It’s important to stick to the rules when you’re driving in unfamiliar territory. The last thing you want on a road trip is to be detained for driving above the speed limit. Signs will also give you a good indication of what’s ahead, so you can ensure you and your family remain as safe as possible. Ask your partner to test you on some of the relevant signs before you head off.

About Simon Petersen 309 Articles
Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.