Road trips are a great way to see the country and bond with loved ones, but they can also be stressful if you’re not properly prepared. Before you hit the open road, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure your trip is as smooth as possible. From packing the right supplies to knowing when to take breaks, here are four road trip tips you must know about.
1. Service Your Car
Before going on a long road trip, it’s important to ensure your car is in good working condition. This means getting an oil change and tune-up and checking the tread on your tires. It’s recommended that you replace your oil every 3,000 miles (or as directed by the manufacturer). As for your tires, use the penny test to check the tread depth. If you can see Abraham Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires. You should replace them every six years, regardless of mileage.
If your car isn’t running properly, it could break down in the middle of nowhere, leaving you stranded and far from home. By taking care of your car before a road trip, you can avoid this nightmare scenario and have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is up for the task.
2. Remind Yourself of the Rules of the Road
Before setting out on your road trip, take a few minutes to brush up on the rules of the road. This includes things like wearing your seatbelt, obeying the speed limit, and not driving under the influence. Remember, according to the NHTSA, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2016 and 2018, 1,326 persons were injured because they did not use their seatbelts.
You may think you know the rules of the road like the back of your hand, but it never hurts to refresh your memory. After all, you want to arrive at your destination safely, not become a statistic. If you’re planning on driving in unfamiliar territory, it’s important to brush up on the local traffic laws. This will help you avoid getting a ticket (or worse, getting into an accident). In addition to knowing the speed limit, you should also be aware of any other special regulations that may be in place.
3. Check Your Spare Tire
According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), the United States has over 2.2 million miles of paved roads, nearly 94% of which are paved with asphalt. However, even the best-maintained roads can have potholes, which can cause serious damage to your tires. That’s why checking your spare tire before embarking on a road trip is important.
If you don’t have a spare tire, or if it’s in bad shape, you could be stranded on the side of the road for hours (or even days) waiting for help. To avoid this nightmare scenario, make sure to check your spare tire before setting out on your trip. If it’s in good condition, pack it in the trunk just in case. And speaking of flat tires, it’s also a good idea to pack a Tire Pressure Gauge and a Portable Air Compressor. This way, if you do get a flat tire, you can fix it yourself and be on your way.
4. Pack an Emergency Kit
No matter how well-prepared you are, there’s always a chance something could go wrong on your road trip. That’s why it’s important to pack an emergency kit, just in case. This kit should include things like a first-aid kit, flares, jumper cables, and a flashlight. You may never need to use these items, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
In addition to an emergency kit, you should also pack a map of the area (just in case you get lost) and a phone charger (in case your phone dies). And if you’re traveling with young children, be sure to pack some snacks and drinks to keep them happy (and quiet) in the back seat.
Whether you plan on making frequent road trips throughout the year or making it a one-time event, it’s important to be prepared. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your road trip is safe and enjoyable.