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Publish Date - January 04, 2022

Author: Staci Bailey

Categories:   Useful Automotive Information   

Traveling for the Holidays? 5 Tips for a Safe Road Trip

Road trips offer flexibility that air travel lacks. The ability to make stops along the way and have no restrictions on luggage have their appeal. Additionally, road trips allow for groups to travel together at a much lower cost.

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Road trips offer flexibility that air travel lacks. The ability to make stops along the way and have no restrictions on luggage have their appeal. Additionally, road trips allow for groups to travel together at a much lower cost.

If you’re thinking of hitting the road here are some top notch travel tips to help ensure your vacation is epic.

1. Have An Itinerary

Plan your route ahead of time and get familiar with the roads you will be taking. Research good locations for rest stops as well as places where you will spend the night. Save each stop on an app so that you can easily resume your journey and have GPS help you navigate.

It’s a good idea to plan ahead for overnight stays. Make hotel reservations ahead of time to avoid unexpected surprises. If you have your hotel accommodations taken care of prior to departure you won’t have to waste time searching for a suitable hotel and arranging your booking when you’re tired from traveling.

Check the weather forecast and prepare for what may come. If there is the possibility of bad weather on the way, prepare a contingency plan. One of the most overlooked travel tips is to tell at least one person where you are going. Share your itinerary with them and have a predetermined check-in schedule so that someone knows where you are and will be aware if you don’t show up where you’re supposed to.

2. Get Your Vehicle Road Worthy

When you’re on the road your vehicle will be your home away from home. It’s always important to keep up with regular maintenance on your car to keep it running smoothly. If you’re planning a long journey it’s that much more crucial to ensure your vehicle is ready for the road before you set off.

Perform any needed repairs ahead of time and make sure your vehicle is up to date on tune ups and maintenance. Check belts, hoses, battery, and filters for wear and replace as necessary. Take a good look at your brakes and make sure they work well. If you’re unsure what you’re looking for it’s a good idea to get a professional to inspect your vehicle.

Always check, change, and top up fluids such as oil and coolant. Consult your owner’s manual to see if your vehicle is due for bigger maintenance items such as new transmission fluid. Don’t forget to top up your windshield wiper fluid as well and check your wiper blades too.

Check the condition of your wheels as well as the tire pressure and don’t forget about your spare tire. Many people neglect it only to find their spare is flat when they need it. Verify that all your lights and signals are operational and that no bulbs are blown.

3. Don’t Push Yourself

Driving long distances can be taxing and fatigue can slow down reaction time making it more difficult to respond quickly and drive safely. Highway hypnosis is a phenomenon that occurs when the monotony of the road causes the driver to go on autopilot. It can happen after as little as 20 minutes behind the wheel and drivers often have no recollection of anything while experiencing highway hypnosis.

Avoid highway hypnosis by taking plenty of breaks during your trip. Get out of the car to stretch your legs and move as much as possible. Avoid stopping on the side of the road where you or your vehicle may be struck by other motorists and instead pull into well lit rest stops.

If you start to feel bored or tired try rolling down the window to get some fresh air. Listen to music that you find energizing, talk to your passengers, or get off the road for some rest. Take these travel tips to heart and consider sharing the driving responsibilities with another person and take turns behind the wheel.

4. Prepare For Emergencies

It’s a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your car at all times. It’s especially important to have one ready before you head out on a road trip. Prepare for the unexpected with a well stocked kit just in case you run into trouble.

Your emergency kit should include a flashlight, tool kit, jumper cables, and flares in case your car experiences mechanical problems. If you get stuck something for traction, such as sand, salt, or cat litter, can help you out of a slippery situation. You should also have a first aid kit, non perishable food, water, blankets, candles, and waterproof matches.

Your cell phone can be a very useful tool for a variety of unexpected situations. Charge your phone ahead of time and keep it charged throughout your trip. Don’t forget your car charger so that you can keep your phone at full battery even while you drive.

5. Drive For Fuel Economy

With the high cost of fuel, road trips are more expensive and you may be finding yourself with less money to spend on the road. Keeping your vehicle in good working condition is a great way to improve fuel economy. Additionally there are things you can do to get the most miles out of every gallon.

Avoid fueling up during the hottest part of the day because gas is less dense when it is warm. Fill up your tank in the morning and evening insead. While you’re at the gas station you should check your tires and keep them inflated to the maximum limit recommended by the manufacturer. Underinflated tires cause drag and increase gas consumption.

Focus on driving smoothly. You can save as much as 30% on gas mileage just by slowing down your acceleration. Don’t tailgate because it leads to braking and accelerating. You can get better fuel economy by leaving a gap and coasting more often instead of constantly applying the breaks.

Avoid rough roads which create more drag on your tires and remove unnecessary cargo to lighten the load. If you’re travelling at high speeds, keep your windows closed whenever possible. Opening your windows can negatively affect fuel economy by as much as 10%.

A safe and comfortable vehicle is a must have for any road trip. It needs to hold all of your cargo and be comfortable for each passenger. Not sure if your car is up to the task? You can quickly and easily compare up to 4 offers in minutes and finance a new vehicle in time to hit the road.