If you need to take one of those long road trips, then there are surely a few things you need to tick off the checklist. Whether you’re new to driving or an old hand, a long road trip usually throws up a few tricky possibilities. These will differ depending on how far you’re intending to drive, what kind of car you have, and in what country you’re planning the trip. It’s why you need to consider the advice and try to plan it to your own specifications for maximum protection. Going on long trips will usually be fine but they can take their toll on your vehicle. Especially if you’re going off-road in segments or traveling somewhere where the road maintenance isn’t exactly great. These tips can give you a start, and at least help change your perspective so that you approach the trip with a bit more seriousness, which, after all, can only contribute to your safety.
Get Your Car Serviced
If you’re going to take a pretty long trip, it pays to get your car serviced in the first instance. This means a professional mechanic will find anything major that needs changing. This can include brake repairs, top off fluids, and a general car check. You can get this done as an interim service or go for the full service. It may not be a 100% need, especially if you can check those kinds of things yourself, but if you’re taking the car on a really long trip it’s certainly recommended. Some prefer to take their car to the dealership from where they bought it for a proper service whereas others will go local. Just make sure you check the reviews first.
Check Your Tires
It may be that you need to replace them. Not because they’re worn, but because you need different ones for where you’re going. If you’re going somewhere where there’s snow, it may be better to swap out for winter tires. Make sure your tread depth is in line with your local authorities’ regulations. You can get measurements online. If your tire is balding in places you know right away that you need to change them for new ones. Make sure you check the back too and not just the front. It may also be prudent to double-check your spare tire. It might need a little bit of air or even replacing entirely. Check the jack system which should accompany the spare too.
Going Off Road? Take Emergency Equipment
If you’re heading off road it’s essential that you’re equipped for the scenario in which you’re entering. If it’s mountainous and snowy terrain, you might want to take some tire chains to aid in grip. A spade is also good for digging yourself out of tough spots. You’ll want to take some extra water in case you break down, and food too. A blanket is always useful to stay warm if you have to camp down in the backseat. If you’re going off road for a long time, a power bank will probably be needed. Don’t rely on your car to charge up your phone. A power bank can stay alive for a long time and charge your phone and other equipment if needed. Think about where you are going and what would be useful in an emergency situation. If you’re really going off the grid a satellite phone might be required.
The Road Ahead
You might have a great and reliable sat-nav, but they can always be a little out of date. Instead, just read about where you’re going and double-check there aren’t any road closures, accidents, or building works that disagree with your sat-nav. If you’re going off road for a long time, this is important, because there may not be many other long roads you can take. It pays to be aware. On the same note, make sure you update your sat-nav software before you take off. Some might do this automatically. If you use your phone you’ll be fine as it’ll auto-update. Some of the older models will need to be taken out of your care and connected to your wifi. This is especially worth doing if you haven’t done it in a long while. Make sure there’s adequate parking where you’re going too or you may end up arriving with nowhere to park. This rings true if there’s a convention or sporting event where you’re going. Parking is usually taken up pretty fast in these situations so sort that beforehand.