It’s bad enough when you have car trouble in your local neighborhood – or even in your own driveway. However, nothing could be worse or potentially more scary than to have your car break down hundreds of miles from home. Road trips are supposed to be a time for fun and relaxation, but the difference between pleasure and misery often lies in whether or not you took the proper steps to get your car ready for that long trip.
Before you leave home, there are several simple steps you can take to protect your vehicle, your trip and your loves ones.
First, in case anything does go wrong with your vehicle, make sure you give a trip plan to someone trustworthy. Now, you can go to work on that car of yours.
You can tackle each of these quickly before you hit the road:
In addition, you should make a checklist of items to pack in a car survival kit. These can include:
Before you pack up, take a moment for one final check of the following:
Once your car passes muster, there are some tips for effective driving. After all, you may not be a part of your car, but if you’re not functioning properly, your car’s condition really doesn’t matter.
Know your limits and plan your trip around them. If the longest drive you have ever taken is 300 miles in a day, don’t plan a trip with a string of endless 500-mile days. Whether you are capable of riding 500 miles per day, or 1,000, the ability to make miles tends to decrease as the length of the trip increases.
Forget about high speeds. A steady driver can book more miles, enjoy more mountain vistas and purposely take the scenic route, rather than someone bent on making the best times across a mountain pass. You’ll also save on gas over the long haul.
Leave the Red Bull and coffee at home. If you get tired, pull over and rest. If it’s midway through the day, try a nap of about 30 minutes. If it’s getting dark, hole up in a motel. It’s not worth risking your safety if your body is telling you it needs rest.
Learn to avoid boredom. Long drives usually mean moving across areas that you might not consider prime spots. . For times like this, carrying a tape player with your favorite music or a book on tape can prove invaluable.
Finally, stay away from trucks. Truck drivers hate having anyone follow them. When you are behind a truck, you become a liability to them. Never tailgate. Instead of paying attention to the road, a trucker will start worrying about the people on their tailgate. After that, it doesn’t take much for disaster to follow.
With proper preparation before a trip, and a good attitude during a journey, you can make sure you not only survive a long trip – but also enjoy it.