2018 has just started, and like many other car owners, an exhilarating road trip might be a part of your New Year’s resolutions. After all, that’s one of the benefits of having a car — that is, you can go anywhere you fancy, spared from the hassle of commuting and hitching one ride after another, all while carrying your hefty luggage! Getting a car ready for a long trip is essential before hitting the road.
Before you plunge into your journey, however, there’s somewhere you have to visit first — that is, an auto shop. Whether you’re only covering a short distance or you plan to tour across the country, getting a car ready for a long trip is vital that you condition your car first and foremost. This guarantees that your vehicle is fully prepared to embark on an adventure. Plus, you don’t want your car to suddenly stop in the middle of the road and inconvenience you and your family!
To make the best out of your travel, check out the following tips on how to get your car ready for your much-anticipated road trip, as well as other hacks that will make things easier for you!
Clean your car
Before you delve into the nitty-gritty of car maintenance and all that, it’s essential for you to go over this simple step first — that is, tidying up your car. Clean both the interior and the exterior of your vehicle. Thoroughly vacuum the floor and inspect the narrow corners and space, where food scraps might be hiding. In addition, make sure to remove all the stuff that you might not need, as this will help you salvage more space for the things you’ll be bringing with you on your travel.
Arrange a checkup
Schedule a visit to your most trusted auto shop and have them perform some basic maintenance or repairs on your car. This step might sound intuitive, but you’ll be surprised at how many people forget or deliberately choose to skip this stage. Don’t take your chances! It’s better to be prepared in getting the car ready for a long trip.
Have a close inspection of your rubber. Take note of any tears or bulges on the sides. Additionally, your tires need to have a reasonable amount of tread left. Tire pressure is also another crucial thing to consider. If you think your tires have a problem or need replacing, then take action quickly and head to the nearest auto shop.
To get you started, here are some of the basic aspects of your car that need to be inspected:
- Check your wiper blades and lights. These are vital for visibility. Spend some time cleaning your wiper blades. If they’re already threadbare, then it might be time to buy new ones. Also, inspect the windscreen washer fluid.
- Check your brake pads. Your brake pads might be worn out already. If that’s the case, then replace them at once.
- Check your water level and engine coolant level. Here are some of the fluids you need to inspect to ensure that your vehicle will run smoothly.
In addition, consider the necessary car services such as oil change and car tune up. Never, ever skip this visit to the auto shop! You want your vehicle to be in prime condition before you hit the road. You want to make sure that your car will constantly be reliable and efficient.
You don’t want your vehicle to halt without warning. Or another scenario is that you can’t start your car no matter what you do. The worst thing is, there isn’t a single auto shop in sight (yikes!)
One way of preventing these is by checking your battery — it has to be durable and it needs to have clean terminals. Here’s a simple tip that will keep your terminals tidy: baking soda and water!
Let your car rest
Are you using your car too much? Well, like all other things, your vehicle needs a break too. If you can, have it brought to an auto shop so they can check if your car’s brake pads are still decent or already too tattered.
As they always say, prepare for the worst. Make sure that you have the necessary paraphernalia for every dreadful situation you might encounter.
Listed below are some of the basic things that you need to have with you in getting a car ready for a long trip:
- spare tire
- first-aid kit
- fully-charged phone
- extra snacks
Aside from being prepared during the trip, there are also ways to prepare before you begin your epic travel. Here are some of them:
- Consider what sort of road trip experience you and your family are seeking. Once you’ve decided, select your plausible destinations.
- How long do you intend this trip to last? Asking yourself this question can help you with multitudes of things, such as your budget, accommodation, fuel costs, food, activities, and so on.
- From these (and once you know your tentative destinations), you can proceed to check the accommodation options available in the area, as well as activities and entertainment your family can indulge in.
- Once you know these basic things, you can weigh in your choices. What are the pros and cons of each place? Which can cater to the needs and wants of everyone? And lastly, which fits within your budget range?
Do these steps and you’ll be all geared up to leave! Preparing sufficiently, needless to say, can help you make your road trip a lot more seamless.
Pack your things smartly
Packing smartly and appropriately is another foolproof formula for making your road trip more seamless. Make sure, however, that you don’t pack too much. There’s a limit to what your vehicle can carry.
Check your car’s load capacity and keep the indicated weight in mind when packing (as long as the number of passengers who will be coming along). It obviously won’t be a good idea to put too much weight in your car.
As for your car’s rooftop, then don’t place too many hefty loads on it, as it might make the car much more difficult to maneuver, especially in an emergency situation. Plus, it will be more likely for your vehicle to topple over. Always remember that your fuel economy decreases when you have more cargo.
Capitalize on technology! Have a GPS navigation system app with you, as this will make your road trip a whole lot easier. One popular application that car owners often use is Waze. The best thing about this app is that it also monitors traffic, which allows you to choose the best possible route that can help you reach your destination much more quickly. Just install it on your smartphone and you’re good to go.
Additionally, it’s also advisable to plan your route and destination before you leave. This will save you extra time and help you arrive at your destination more seamlessly.
Take your kids into consideration
If you’ll be having kids with you, then you might want to keep their special needs in mind. There’s nothing more frustrating than a bunch of kids complaining that they’re bored, or screaming their heads off for something to do!
For one, you need to have an abundant supply of snacks and drinks. You’ll also want to keep them occupied all the time, so have some reading books, toys, games, videos, and music they can always turn to.
However, it doesn’t always have to be technology. You can also let the whole family join in, and some ways of doing these are by storytelling, games, sing-along, and the likes.
Keep the adults occupied, too
Kids aren’t the only ones who need to be kept busy. Road trips can be immensely long and wearying in some instances, so it’s important to keep even the adults entertained.
Have some of these items with you:
- spare batteries
- chargers for your electronics
Patience, patience, patience!
Be patient all the time. Sometimes, things might not go the way you want it to—there’s bound to be traffic, for one. Don’t let it hamper your mood! If you can, avoid the peak of rush hours altogether by traveling late at night or early in the morning.
Additionally, when you drive, whether it’s at night or at noon, it’s paramount that you keep everyone’s safety at the top priority. This can never be stressed enough. Always, always drive with caution. That is, constantly follow the rules of the road. If you want, you can review the basic road essentials and signs that you’ll need.
If you own a vehicle, then indulging in a thrilling road trip is probably something that you’ve always wanted. The year has just begun—there will certainly be plenty of opportunities for you to put this plan into fruition. But don’t forget that getting car ready for a long trip is important.
You want to make this road trip memorable and fun. One way of achieving this is by preparing as well as you can. Aside from planning your itinerary, budget, and other things, getting a car ready for a long trip is also necessary and it’s essential for you to bring it to an auto shop before you hit the road.