As the summertime season is ticking away and with school and work routines about to get back to “normal,” you may be thinking about a quick getaway to wring out one last bit of summer fun. Road trips can be a great way to make memories. Good road trip planning will help you make only the kind you’ll want to remember.
Road Trip Planning – First Things First
Before you spend too much time figuring out where you want to go and what you want to see and do once you get there, make sure ol’ Betsy is up for the task. Check the fluids and the pressure and condition of the tires (don’t forget the spare!) and then get her cleaned out so she’s fresh for the road.
Be Prepared for Anything
Just like insurance, an emergency kit is something that you’d rather have and not use instead of something you need to use and not have. Several items should be included in a well-stocked emergency kit including things like jumper cables, engine fluids like oil and coolant as well as a small stash of basic first aid supplies.
Don’t Forget a Charger and Backup Battery
This one is not for your car, but for your phone. It’s hard to believe, but it wasn’t that long ago when we ventured into all kinds of remote places without a way to communicate for help in case you ran into trouble. Cell phones really have changed the way we live, but one with a dead battery is nothing more than a paperweight. If you do not have access to a charger or extra battery, consider leaving your fully charged phone turned off in case you do find yourself needing it somewhere out there on the road.
Know Where You’re Going
Like we said before, cell phones are great except when they’re not working, and the same goes for GPS. Print out or buy a map of your route in advance. These paper copies will work even if you don’t have battery or signal.
Consider Joining a Road Club
If you have pushed your drive too far between gas stations or have left the lights on by mistake, there’s nothing nicer than being able to call someone to give you a jump or to bring a gallon of gas. Dues for a road club membership are minimal, and the benefits it offers can keep a trip from going south in a hurry.
Get Your Paperwork in Order
While you were almost sure that the last speed limit sign did say 70, the friendly state trooper seems to disagree*. He’s going to want to see your license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration, so make sure to have it handy. Not having these readily available at home can make things sticky. Don’t complicate your vacation by not having them with you out on the road.
Hitting the open road can be great, but it can bring its share of surprises. Being properly prepared for the unexpected will help make sure that you enjoy a little fun and relaxation, probably the purpose of the trip from the beginning.
*If you did make it home with an unexpected souvenir, help remove that part of your road trip memory with an affordable and convenient online driving safety course from ApprovedCourse.com.