Going on a road trip, whether it is for a vacation or to visit friends or relatives, is an exciting journey to plan and undertake. But for the sake of your passengers, yourself, as well as any other road users, you need to take care and plan correctly.
Carrying out vehicle checks can reduce the risk of an accident. Being aware of the weather you are likely to be faced with or driving through will help you not only when packing clothes to take with you but will give you a heads up on the dangers you may experience.
It is always wise to plan your route even if you are only taking a short journey, as you never know what may be happening on the road ahead and being able to change your route at short notice could end up saving you time stuck in traffic jams. Always make sure that you have the correct charging facilities for your sat/nav needs.
Checking your vehicle’s safety
Before you attempt a road trip, it is essential that you make sure that the vehicle you are thinking of driving is totally road-worthy and safe to drive. Make sure that you have all your relevant paperwork up to date and that any vehicle inspection sticker or certificate is valid, and that you have paid your annual registration fee.
When doing your safety checks, ensure that you pay attention to your vehicle’s battery. Check that it has a tight connection and that the connection is corrosion-free. Top up your car’s fluids such as engine coolant, windscreen washers, engine oil, and the power-assisted steering fluid. Check to make sure that all your lights and windscreen wipers are working. It is important to check your tires for tread depth and that they are at the correct tire pressure. Ensure that all your brakes are working perfectly, including your hand break. Make sure that all the belts and hoses within your engine are good and tight and that there is no damage or fraying.
If in doubt of how to carry out any or all of these checks on this list, it will probably be best to take your car to a garage and get a professional to do the check for you. Although this may cost you, it will be nothing compared to the cost should something go wrong while you are driving.
Watching the weather
Depending on where it is, you are thinking of taking your road trip, and the time of year you are thinking of going, will determine what kind of weather you will be faced with. You cannot guarantee that just because the weather is warm and pleasant where you start from, that it will be the same throughout the whole of your trip.
There are some areas that are well known for experiencing certain kinds of weather within certain time spans of the year. If you are thinking of traveling either to or through Colorado Springs, it may be best to prepare yourself for hail, especially if you are looking to be traveling between April 15th and September 15th, though the worst time of year for this kind of weather is probably mid-June or August if you are heading to the south of the state. This is not to say that you should not travel, but it may be wise to have details of a reputable repair shop offering hail damage repair in Colorado Springs close to hand.
Planning your route
Regardless of where it is you are thinking of traveling, make sure to plan your route accordingly. Whether you are looking to be traveling for just one day or over the course of a few weeks, it is wise to make sure that you know your routes beforehand and have routes planned should any of your destinations change or there are problems on the road ahead.
Most people have access to some kind of sat nav or Google maps on pieces of technology such as cell phones, and it is wise to make sure that your devices have plenty of charge in their battery and that you have a way of charging their battery while on route.
When planning your route, plan in plenty of stops for leg stretches and comfort breaks and to break the journey up a bit. This will be beneficial for the nominated driver and for any passengers. If you are traveling with children, you may need even more stops so that playtime can alleviate boredom, squabbles, and tummy upsets. Though, having some in-travel entertainment, whether it is in the form of movies or games, may be a worthwhile investment.
Pack plenty of food, nibbles, and drink in a cooler bag and keep it close to hand, though try to avoid too much sugar as, regardless of whether it makes children hyperactive or not, it will do nothing to help the nominated driver’s concentration.
Finally, make sure that you are aware of any changes to state laws for the states that you are visiting or driving through, as many have differences in speed restrictions, among other things.