Nothing is quite so freeing as a road trip during a summer vacation with a car that can handle the journey well. Making the most of your summer trip means preparing yourself and your car. Following these steps ahead of time can lead to a smoother journey and a more enjoyable time.
1. Practice Your Driving Skills
It is important to be confident in your driving skills before embarking on a long road trip. If you are traveling to unknown places, your driving skills will especially come in handy as you try to navigate around a new city. Being well-versed in the rules of the road comes in handy and helps you avoid stressful driving situations and traffic violations.
Spend time practicing driving around your neighborhood and areas you are familiar with first to build up your driving confidence. It would also be helpful to complete a driver's ed course to experience formal training on the rules of driving.
2. Take Your Car for a Tune-Up
The last thing you want on your summer road trip is for your car to break down in the middle of the road. Taking your car to a specialized mechanic to get it inspected helps prevent any unpleasant surprises. The mechanic can also perform a vehicle safety check to ensure no dangerous situations occur.
Some of the things you'll want to have a mechanic look at (or check yourself) include:
Your car's vital components, such as brakes, tires, and engine
Your car's battery to ensure your car will start when you need it to
Changing the oil
Having a tire rotation
3. Heat Proof Your Car
The summer's heat can wreak havoc on your car and road trip. While it is impossible to heat-proof your car completely, there are things you can add to your car to lessen the wear and tear of the sun and make your ride more comfortable.
Consider tinting the windows to reduce the sun's glare and keep your car's cabin cooler. Always keep a sun visor in your car when you are parking it in a hot area. Also, consider purchasing a car cover for when you have your car parked for a long period of time.
4. Explore and Learn Your Route
The navigation systems on our phones are quite useful, but they shouldn't be all you rely on when embarking on a long trip. Before you go, study the route you are taking and get familiar with it. This is crucial if you are venturing into less populated areas where your cell phone reception may cut out. Print the route's directions or download the steps onto your phone for offline use.
While exploring your route, you can also take time to plan your stops and what attractions you want to see. Setting a plan ahead of time helps maximize the use of your vacation time and saves you from any post-trip regret!
5. Prepare for an Emergency
To ensure your safety and peace of mind, keep your car stocked with safety necessities before your summer road trip. Think about what would happen if your car broke down on the side of the street in the middle of the night — what would you want on hand? Here are a few things to consider putting in your car for the "just in case" scenarios:
Supplies and equipment to change a tire
A first-aid kit
A flashlight and batteries
A blanket and/or rain poncho
Basic tool kit
6. Pack Your Essentials
One of the most vital components of a summer road trip is the snacks! Stock up on your favorite munchies and drinks to satisfy your hunger and make the traveling go by quickly. Be sure to bring plenty of water and some easy meals to have on hand at your destination.
This will help you save money while you're on vacation since you won't need to eat out at every meal. Pack your bag with your favorite clothes, toiletries, and don't forget your swimsuit.
Now that you've taken the necessary precautions, you can really relax and enjoy your summer road trip!