Getting on the road is a great way to explore new places and meet new people. It’s also a liberating experience that lets you decide where and how far you want to go. However, it’s important to remember that planning ahead is essential for any road trip.
Get Your Car Ready
Before you embark on a road trip, make sure that your vehicle is ready to go. Inspecting it at an auto repair center will allow you to ensure it is in good working order.
Ensure the tires are correctly inflated, and the fluids are topped off. Also, make sure that the cooling system and radiator are working correctly.
If there is a spare tire in your car, ensure it is in working condition and has been properly inflated.
Prepare Cars You’re Leaving Behind
Getting your car ready for a road trip can also mean leaving behind other vehicles.
If you must keep another car at home, consider using a battery tender. This device will allow you to fully charge the car’s battery by transferring power from its AC outlet to its battery. You should also fill up your gas tank and add fuel stabilizers, remove any food or pet food that may attract rodents, and clean the tires and fluids.
After you have returned from your trip, start your car and drive it gently for a couple of miles. Then take it to the repair shop to have it inspected.
Have an Emergency Plan
Regardless of how prepared you are, there will always be emergencies that you need to be ready for. Having the proper supplies and an on-call AAA roadside assistance service are two of the most important parts of being prepared.
You should also pack other vital items such as a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, jumper cables, non-perishable food, a flashlight, and a roadside emergency kit. If you don’t have a spare tire, you should buy one. A jack and a lug wrench in the car will allow you to change tires if needed.
Having all of your emergency supplies easily accessible is also essential. Packing them in the trunk will not help if they are needed immediately.
You should also make sure that your insurance and registration documents are up-to-date.
Know the Rules
If you’re planning on traveling further than home, especially in other states, you should also check the local driving laws in the area.
In the Northeastern states, the speed limit is 65 miles per hour. In the West, the speed limit is 80 miles per hour. In New York, drivers are permitted to turn at a red light but are prohibited from doing so in the city unless a sign informs the public about the right-turn privilege.
Proper knowledge about these laws can help you avoid getting pulled over and prosecuted.
Before you leave for a trip, you must have a rough estimate of how much it will cost you. Having a budget will allow you to plan and avoid financial problems during your trip.
The cost of gas will be one of the most significant expenses on your trip. Before you leave, check the gas prices in the areas you’ll visit. You can also download the AAA app to find the cheapest gas stations near you.
Plan the Route
You must plan and have a good idea of the route you will take during your trip. This will allow you to make informed decisions and avoid getting lost.
A navigation system is advantageous when traveling in unfamiliar territory. It will allow you to find your intended location in the fastest and most direct manner.
A good old-fashioned paper map can show you various road options, allowing you to draw out a plan based on their availability.
Aside from planning the route, it’s also important to plan where you will stop along the way. Having a good plan will allow you to avoid getting tired while driving. It’s not ideal to try and drive late at night, and it could potentially put you at risk of getting drowsy.
According to AAA, taking breaks every two hours or more is recommended while traveling. They also suggest allowing an alert passenger to accompany you and pulling over to a safe area if needed.
Be Ready the Day Before
Before you leave for a road trip, ensure all the necessary details are taken care of. Having a good night’s sleep and having some food in your stomach will allow you to be in the best possible condition when you start your trip.