How To Prepare For A Long Road Trip Effectively

The Easter holiday is right at the corner and lots of people are planning to travel to visit family and friends. Preparing you and your car for this trip is very important because it will ensure not only a hitch free trip but an enjoyable one too.  Below are a few tips that can help you to prepare for your journey:

1.) Car Preparation

Ensure your car is serviceable before you depart.  This means that your car should be within its servicing period, and the oil and filter should have been changed recently.  All of the water reservoirs should also be full.  Check your tires to ensure they will remain within their wear limits during your trip and purchase and install new tires if required.

If you will be driving a long distance also consider getting your wheels aligned before you go as this will save on tire wear later on.  If you drive on any dirt roads while you travel you should also plan to get the wheels aligned again after you return.

If you will be hiring a vehicle have a close look at the quality of vehicle that they offer and support they will provide.

2.) Plan Your Route

The biggest killers on the road are fatigue and alcohol.  Before you depart you should quickly research a rough plan of your route including the driving times and distances.  If you will be stopping to occasionally en route you should plan a maximum of four to six hours of driving in a day.  If you have a long distance driving day you should plan to have a non-driving day afterwards to recover.  Make sure you don’t drink alcohol and drive.

Allow an extra day or two so you can be flexible if you decide to stay longer in a place or decide to break a longer drive into two shorter driving days, or if something unexpected occurs.

Online tools such as Google Maps and other useful Apps. enable you to quickly put together a route plan. You can read this article here to know more about this.

3.) Maps

If you are using a GPS ensure you have the latest map update before you depart.  It is also worthwhile to purchase a large hard-copy map to enable a bigger picture view of your trip.

4.) Outline Your “What Ifs?”

Ensure you plan for ‘What Ifs’ while you are on your road trip.

  • What will you do if your car breaks down?  Have you got suitable roadside assistance for your destination?  If it’s a car hire service, will your vehicle hire company provide roadside assistance?
  • What will you do if you have a car accident?  Do you have suitable car insurance or travel insurance for your destination? You can get travel insurance quote here
  • If you have a problem in a remote area how will you communicate?  Will you have mobile phone coverage on your planned route, or is it a major road with a lot of traffic who should be able to help you?  Should you take additional communications equipment such as a satellite phone, a two way radio or an EPIRB?
  • Have you got a current first aid kit in your car and do you know how to use it?
  • Should you pack some additional bottled water and food in case of break down or traffic stoppages, particularly if you are travelling in remote areas and the weather will be hot?

5.) Entertainment

Long boring roads require entertainment.  If you have children in the car consider if you have a DVD player or other handheld electronic games which the children can use in the car.  Ensure you can recharge or power the equipment using the car engine and battery, which may require the purchase of additional equipment.  Consider how many items you will want to plug in at once and purchase additional equipment such as double adapters etc.

Think about whether you like to listen to music as you travel.  Ensure you have the equipment to play your own music through your car radio.  If necessary, purchase some new music prior to departure to enjoy along the way.

Also be prepared to play some car games with children so they do actually look out the window sometimes! We have entertainment accessories in our online store here 

6.) Enjoy Your Road Trip!

Once you have gone through these road trip preparation tips you will be ready to go.  Have a great road trip!

If you have any additional tips to list above please feel free to share with everyone. You can drop a comment below. Thanks for reading. Drive Safe!

About Nonso Okafor

I've worked as a technical support representative in major auto centers in Nigeria for more than twenty years. I have dealt with a variety of problems in my capacity as a customer service representative and auto diagnostics expert. I'm committed to assisting people in properly maintaining their automobiles and in appreciating this magnificent innovation known as an automobile.

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