With nice weather comes travel season, and now is the perfect time to plan your next great trip. This year, why not do something a little bit different and plan a detailed road trip with your family and friends? Yes, this kind of adventure does take some extensive planning and a lot of backup plans, but it’s certainly worth the trouble, once you hit the road. Before this happens, the “just in case” section of your road trip plan should cover auto detailing and maintenance, because you’ll be spending a lot of time in that car.
A clean car that’s in tip-top shape will make the experience way more pleasant. Don’t leave the cleaning until after the trip. To get the best out of the whole adventure, detail your ride before and after. Here are the most important road trip planning tips you should definitely have on your prep checklist:
Before you start any long trip, you need to make sure that your car is free of useless clutter. Driving a dirty vehicle will make travel time much harder because your surroundings are disorganized and messy. Think about it, a good trip starts with knowing where all your necessities are (your first aid kit, your car insurance papers, and so on…). To make sure you have everything set up on the road, clean your car inside and out.
Have an auto detailing service do a proper scrub
Go to a good car detailing service, or contact a mobile car detailer and have them give your vehicle a proper wash. They’ll also be able to add some protection to the exterior with services like waxing and protective coating. Spending a long time on the road brings more hazards that can cause damage to your car’s exterior. That’s why it’s important to add some protection on the outside, and your auto detailing service can help.
Schedule a car checkup
You should, without any doubt, bring your car to your local service for a detailed inspection. Every single detail, from wipers to fluid levels, has to be in perfect order. A preventative maintenance measure like this will help you save yourself from headaches caused by minor or major malfunctions. Also, you should never take a trip without a spare tire. You never know when you’re going to need it.
Stock up and be prepared – Pack smart, don’t just stock up on useless items you may not even use during the whole trip. Think about necessary supplies: blankets, flashlights, basic tools, an emergency kit, and so on. Make sure you bring some extra food and water as a precaution.
Note: A good thing to have in mind is your car’s load capacity. Fuel capacity is reduced with more cargo. For example, if you’re not using the rooftop racks for any special loads, remove them because they add extra weight.
Have a good navigation system
With all the amazing navigation gadgets and systems that can be easily accessed through your phone, getting lost should not be an issue. Arm yourself with a good GPS system you can easily track. Test it out before you start the trip to make sure you can rely on it. Plus, you’ll be able to find alternative routes in the event of a traffic congestion and find available restaurants, gas stations, and useful stops.
If you do get stuck in a traffic jam, try to keep your cool. Put some music on or play some road trip games with other passengers. Get plenty of restroom and refreshment breaks to recharge and restock on your food and water supplies.
Follow the rules and stay safe
The golden rule of any long trip is to stay alert, well rested, and to follow the rules. Traffic signs are there for a reason, and following them is the best way to keep you and anyone else with you in the car safe. If you feel tired or sleepy at any point, get some rest as soon as you can, even if it means messing up the whole trip plan. Safety always comes first!