Going on a long road trip? Saving money on airfare by driving to your holiday destination? Before you set off on your journey, make sure that you and your car are ready for the long haul. Here are 8 safety tips that can help make your trip a worry-free one.
1. Review your car insurance coverageJust because you have comprehensive car insurance doesn’t mean you will be covered should any kind of catastrophe befall your vehicle. Before you leave for your trip, go over your car insurance policy to see what kinds of incidents are (and are not) covered. Review the individual steps of the claims process so that you’ll know what to do in case the worst does happen. Lastly, save your insurance company’s roadside assistance hotline (if any) on your phone in case your car breaks down.
2. Check under the hoodDoes your car have any recurring engine problems? Are your tires properly inflated and balanced? Are the headlights, windows, and air conditioning system all in working order? Never underestimate the importance of a preventive check-up. Troubleshoot any potential issues that could ruin your driving experience before it’s too late. When in doubt, remember BLOWFATCH:
B – Battery, Breaks, Belts
L – Lights, Leaks, License
O – Oil
W – Water, Wipers
F – Fuel, Fluids
A – Accessories
T – Tires, Tools
C – Car Documents, Cleanliness
H – Hose, Horn
3. Check your temperatureOkay, we don’t mean that literally. If you have asthma, allergies, motion sickness, or any other sensitive medical issues, bring the necessaries medications for managing your condition. If you feel you’re at high risk, consult your doctor to see if you’re cleared for travel in your current state. The same goes for any of your other travel companions.
4. Bring emergency supplies – both for yourself and your carThere is a fine line when between packing and overpacking for any trip. However, you must never neglect the essentials in case of life-or-death emergencies. For your car, you can prepare items like a spare tire, tire jack, and jumper cables. For yourself and your companions, bring road trip must-haves like a first-aid kit, snacks, drinking water, and a map of your planned route.
SEE ALSO: 10 Common Mistakes Made by New Travelers
5. Fill your stomach, empty your bladderIn addition to your car’s gas tank, don’t forget to fill your own as well! You and your companions must make time for a filling breakfast and/or lunch so you don’t make too many unnecessary pit stops during the trip. While you’re at it, make the most of your bathroom breaks too. Your emergency supplies should include toilet paper, rubbing alcohol, and other useful hygienic items.
SEE ALSO: 5 Best Toilets I've Used During My Travels Around the Philippines
6. Study your travel route carefullyWhether you’re hunkering down with an old-fashioned paper map or with your trusty Google Maps app, take a good look at your planned route before you leave. Studying your route beforehand serves multiple functions: it helps you spot any potential alternate routes in case of roadworks or heavy traffic, plan your rest stops, and even explore any side attractions en route to your final destination.
7. Ready the anti-boredom measuresThink you can handle staring at long stretches of uninterrupted asphalt? If not, find small but helpful ways to break up the monotony of your trip. Listen to music by readying a playlist of your favorite road trip tunes. If you own a smartphone, you can download audiobooks or podcasts to listen to while on the road. If you’re travelling with your family – read: easily bored children – find fun games and activities they can do in the car.
8. Keep calm and drive onRoad rage can strike anywhere, even when you’re out of the big city. If the congested highways and bumpy roads are pissing you off, take a few deep breaths. You don’t want your temper to get the better of you, especially when you still have hours of driving to go. When all else fails, find a safe place on the route to stop for a break until you cool down.
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