Every motorist looks forward to enjoying the freedom of the open road. Now that you have your newly obtained driver’s license you, too, can get your kicks on route 66, or wherever it is you want your travels to take you. Yet, as a novice road warrior, you should regard your first road trip as both an adventure and a duty.
Be safe, have fun and you will be bound to make many more road trips to follow. The important thing is to make your first one a success.
How To Prepare for Road Trips
Put a lot of forethought and planning into your vacation to have a fun and safe experience. While a last-minute excursion can be fun and exciting, you might want to save that type of spontaneous decision until after you have had a few planned ones, first. So, know where you are going . This should be more than having the destination typed into the GPS app on your phone.
Go old school and make sure you also have a current map that details the directions in addition. Since GPS systems are not yet flawless, it is a good idea to utilize both approaches. Also, try to find out if there is any road construction along the route you intend to take.Several parts of the nation lack reliable internet access, rendering your phone map worthless.
Another thing to consider is the weather. If you are driving into the mountains for a ski trip, remember to plan for the weather along the drive accordingly.Avoid foolish advice that might ruin your vacation (State Farm)
First-timers taking a road trip may find conditions much worse than originally anticipated. You may want to consider it. avoid taking a trip that could be too dangerous for your improved driving abilities. There is nothing wrong with building up to taking a more risky trip at a later date.
Visit the Mechanic
Even if you just had an oil change or purchased new tires for the trip, have your trusted technician determine whether the car is roadworthy .
Even a respected technician may not be able to forecast some events. You may, however, remove any glaring difficulties. This includes items like : tires . Anyway, this is what needs to be done either by you or your mechanic:
Although you may acquire a new tire along the trip if one blows, you should make sure you have a spare. have enough in your budget after such an unexpected expenditure to cover gas, food, and accommodation.
Know Your Co-Travelers
You could be bringing along some of your lifelong friends, but you don’t want to find out when getting pulled over for a traffic check that one of those pals chose to bring along anything illegal .
Likewise, if any of these individuals will be sharing the driving, be certain that your insurance or his or hers will cover them as a driver in the case of an accident in your vehicle. Nothing can put a damper on a road trip, not to mention end a friendship, quicker than one of these types of problems arising.Before allowing another driver to drive your car, be sure you have complete coverage.
Have an Emergency Kit
Even for everyday driving, you should carry a basic first aid package. If you want to travel, your emergency supplies should be more comprehensive. As an example, you’ll want to have your jack and spare tire accounted for and in working order.
Pick up a can of fix-a-flat and a tire gauge must keep checking tire pressure along the route. A “life hammer” is also useful to have. This is a little gadget that may be used to shatter glass from inside a car if it becomes immersed in water.
Also, you must have jumper cables and a basic set of tools . Even if you haven’t learned how to master using these, having them on hand means you may be able to find someone who can help use these if needed. This is how you use them:
Have a winter weather gear on hand if you’re driving in possibly inclement weather. This should include warm clothes, blankets, food, water, a flashlight, an extra cell phone battery, flares, matches, and anything else that could help save your life should you be stranded in cold weather on the side of the road. It’s not about being paranoid; rather, it’s about being smart, safe and prepared .
Be Realistic about the Distance
If this is your first road trip, you should leave on Friday and return on Sunday, keep the destination within reason Placing too much pressure on oneself to complete a 14-hour journey in one day might spoil the experience.
Allow yourself the ability to stop along the way. It is preferable to plan to stop for the night and find you can keep driving than to be five hours into a marathon haul and find you really need a good night’s rest. At the very least, make sure someone with you can split up the driving, that he or she is a safe driver and that insurance would cover that person as a driver. If you really must drive at night, here are some safety tips:
The Trip Should Start the Day before
That means, have your items packed and ready to go In the vehicle. Make sure that your bags, along with the luggage of anyone else joining you, will fit realistically in the car. Especially if there is any chance you may have to take a nap in the automobile and have no space to stretch out.Put nothing in the trunk that you want to use on the journey.
Get a good night’s rest and eat a good meal . It is not a good idea to kick off the road trip the night before with some celebratory drinks. Even if you don’t wake up hungover, you could be tireder than you know.
Everything that might impede your response time or impair your ability to make appropriate judgments while driving should be avoided the day before you leave.