Serious About Your Next Road Trip? You Need These Tips!
Hey, roadtripper! You’ve been stuck at home because we’re in the middle of a pandemic and it SUCKS. When you learn to drive, you spend a lot of time commuting back and forth on the road and your road trips with your friends become a staple event. Right now, you can’t go out as much as you’d like, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t forward-plan and figure out how to ensure that you are driving well on the road. Yes, you may have taken many trips in your time, but there is always room for learning and improvement and if you are roadtripping this year, you will need the tips below. So, with this in mind, let’s dive right in.
- Get Your Car Serviced! Rule number one of the roadtripper handbook (that I just made up) – go and get your car serviced. You need to know that your car is roadworthy, and given the rate of pedestrian fatalities during COVID-19, you need to ensure that you are not a part of a statistic when you are out on the road. Even if your car is a new one, you need to know that your car is going to be a safe one to drive on the road. You should get your brakes, tyres and fluids checked at an absolute minimum, and you should ensure that you go through the right channels to certify that your car is fine to drive. If there are any faults found with your vehicle, you need to wait until it passes checks and repairs to be able to get it out on the road. You want a car that won’t break down while you’re driving, and you want to know that the brakes will work to prevent you hitting innocent people as you go.
- Insure It Right. You should never go on the road without insurance, even if it isn’t a requirement in your specific country. If you are uninsured, you are risking the safety of everyone on the road as well as your own. It’s reckless and it will be expensive if you are in an accident and you don’t have coverage. Why would you risk spending our money that you don’t have to cover someone else? You should ensure that you get the right coverage so that you don’t become THAT person who can’t afford repairs.
- Map Your Route. Not a fan of paper maps? No biggie. Cars are mostly with GPS installed these days, adn this means that you can plan your route as you go. Knowing your route doesn’t mean knowing your way, but if you know the route you can then research the driving conditions that you’ll encounter as you go. The smartest thing to do is plan for the right type of road. You can then plan for weather conditions, road conditions and have the right emergency kit accordingly. If you don’t have GPS in the car, use your phone and keep a spare charger in the car in case you need to use it.
- Know Your Fuel Zones. Going on a roadtrip means going on an adventure, but you may have seen the many horror movies about road trip teens who get lost in the woods after they have no fuel to keep going – in the middle of nowhere. You need to know where to refuel on your route and plan your road trip around your refueling spots. You can ensure that you fill to the brim whenever you stop and keep a can of gas in the trunk of the car with you (safely, of course). You want to make sure that you have enough petrol to get you to each of your pre-determined checkpoints and you should ensure that your fluids are as full as the fuel.
- Charge Everything. You need your phone no matter where you are, but you should keep a spare charger in the trunk of the car as well as a spare phone if you need it. A flat battery could be a huge problem if you have an emergency or you get lost. A mobile charger for the vehicle is more than just practical, it’s a necessity and it could mean the difference between being helped when you need it or getting your way back to the road sorted if you get lost. You should also load that phone with the emergency numbers you need – just in case!
- Refresh Yourself. Has it been a while since you drove a long distance? The pandemic has thrown everyone’s plans out of whack for over a year now, and it means that you may not have driven far – if at all. Before you jump behind the wheel for an epic road trip, get yourself reacquainted with the road and take a few short drives before you go anywhere long-distance. You don’t want to have forgotten your driving skills and this way, you keep both yourself and pedestrians on the road safe. Getting in an accident will not do, not when you could be smart about your driving and ensure that you are safe.
- Stop Safely. Wherever you plan to stop along your route, make sure that you are stopping safely. This means stopping in the right places and not where other people could plow into the back of your car, and make sure that you are only stopping in well-lit areas that will keep you safe from others on the road. Roadside safety is vital when you are going on a road trip, especially if there is a problem and you need to be safe. It’s not just about blown tires or hitting a bird – you need to make sure that you’re not pulling over into sucking mud or gravel and you can’t get out of it again!
- Be COVID Safe. If you are out on the road with your friends, be COVID-safe! You may find that your road trip has checkpoints for COVID, and you should carry masks, antibacterial gels, medicine and everything else that you need to ensure that everyone in your car is safe from COVID as much as possible. Antibacterial wipes are also an excellent idea so that you can wipe down fuel pumps and shopping carts on your way. Plan your route so that you avoid hot zones for COVID!