It seems like the year 2020 has been a blur with the pandemic still somewhat at large and safety at an all time high. But seeing as the unlock has begun, many people are now leaving their homes for long drives, road trips and even vacations.
Making sure your trip is a success requires a lot of planning. Whether that’s checking on your car maintenance, fuel and engine oil levels, or being equipped with sanitation and first aid equipment. So if it’s been a while since you’ve been out & about, and you’re planning on a road trip of your own, here is a list of tips to keep you prepared at all times.
- Interior maintenance for long drives:
Among the vast majority of things you need to account for on a long road trip, the interior of your car may perhaps be the last thing on your mind. However, it’s importance is often neglected. A long road trip requires a clean and refreshing environment inside the car as well. Having an unkempt car interior with clutter and bad odor can sometimes cause discomfort over time.
It is also important to ensure that the drivers side of the car is up to the mark with driving indicators and the controls to the peripheral tools of the vehicle such as windshield wipers, indicator controls , speedometer, air con controls, child locks, etc.
Ensure that the functionalities of the car work as intended before setting off on a drive.
Added Tip: The glove compartment is the best place to keep your license and registration information. It is vital to carry important documents and paperwork wherever you go.
- Making sure every part of the car is in shape:
Once the interiors are dealt with, the bigger picture comes into play. Making sure the chassis of your car is in good condition along with the exteriors. This includes every single line that weaves together the working of your vehicle. For this it is best to visit a trusted mechanic or the manufacturer of your vehicle and request a thorough inspection of all the parts that need to be checked. Check the engine for wear, engine oil levels and request an engine oil change if necessary.
Check the battery for power and make sure the electronics of the car work in good shape. Request your mechanic to check on the brake lines, brake plates, gearbox and the respective brake fluids and gear oils or automatic transmission fluids that reside within.
The exterior of the car is no less important. Checking on the stability of the tyres, the working condition of the wipers, lights, checking for damage on the windows, windshield etc, are things many people neglect. But it is advised to keep an eye out for any sort of damage that is visible.
- Playlist and music:
Silence can be deafening, even on a long road trip. Whether you’re alone or with loved ones and friends, having music to accompany you on your journey helps set the mood for long drives. Be sure to take your playlist offline if you’re traveling to remote areas with no cellular network or just tap into the jovial voices you hear on the radio. Sometimes, even singing some tunes with the family in fun travel games can be invigorating too!
Some people prefer the occasional audio books or podcasts for some company and some may just have it on for background noise as they drive. However, music can calm your nerves and keep your mind in a steady and more uplifted state while driving for long periods of time. It’s best to be with the company of your favorite tunes and have a relaxed and laid back driving experience.
- Food and energy levels:
A long trip can call for more than a few hunger pangs and can also lead to draining you out completely when you’re constantly behind the wheel. It is recommended that you take ample breaks at least every two hours with frequent stop-overs for a break. After all, you need to refuel just like your vehicles do. If traveling with other people who are confident behind the steering, it is advised to drive in shifts if you’re heading out on long trips.
Keeping your energy levels up in cases of long winded road trips is essential, make sure you have a good supply of nutritious food, or make an attempt to find dhabas or highway food centers to stop for a bite. Carry enough water and stay hydrated. Dehydration is one of the few causes of fatigue while driving, so it’s best avoided.
- Supplies and spares you may need:
Food and water aren’t the only supplies that you may need on a road trip. Today, sanitary equipment and masks make it onto the list of important supplies along with first aid and a fire extinguisher. Remember to carry disposable face masks to protect against any dust, or disease causing particulate matter. Always keep a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher at the ready and ensure you replenish all the contents of the First aid kit before setting off.
It’s always wise to have at least one spare tyre in the trunk of your car and a tool kit to assist with an emergency tyre change. Though it is likely that your careful driving will not cause any mishaps, it is best to be prepared for every journey.
- Though road trips are an escape for many, the process of preparing for one may seem tedious. It is however, a best practice among the travel community and a great way to be prepared for some tricky situations. Let us know if this comprehensive guide is sure to be a one stop solution to all your travel woes.