Is your car ready for the next summer holiday road trip?

Josh Kealy
Jan 21 · 4 min read

Leaving for a road trip with friends and family is something we all look forward to when the summer holidays are beginning. With a little bit of planning, you can make it an enjoyable stress-free adventure.

Prepare your car early

It would be best if you didn’t wait until the very last minute to have your car ready for a road trip. It should be done at least a week or two before you plan to leave. This way, you will be much more comfortable when you are preparing. This means you will be less likely to forget things or misplanned for your road trip.

Check your vehicle

There cannot be many things worse than a broken-down car on the side of the road with a car full of impatient and bored kids waiting for a mechanic or roadside assistance to arrive.

If you are not too car-savvy, it is best to leave it to a professional mechanic to check everything is how it should be to avoid any mishaps.

However, if you can check things on your car yourself, its best to have a look at the engine oil, coolant and windscreen washer fluid. Top up any of these if they are low. Also, it’s necessary to check things like the lights, wipers and washers to see if they are functioning correctly.

Have a look at your tires

Departing home with bald or tires not correctly inflated is a recipe for disaster. You should visually check the tires on your car for problems such as uneven or excessive wear, cuts, or screws and nails that have made their way into a tire that could cause a puncture. It’s worth checking your tire pressure and adjusting it to the manufacturer’s specifications if needed.

It’s essential also to check the spare tire. It too should be in as good as condition as your others and inflated to the advised pressure, so it’s ready to go when you need it most.

Make sure to see clearly.

Making sure to see clearly on the road ahead of you and the surrounding areas are very important. Looking through a window that is covered in dust or dirt can be tiring and also very unsafe.

When you are preparing your car for a road trip, make sure also to check the lights. This means both headlights, high and low beam, taillights, reverse lights, brake lights and indicators. Replace any of the globes that are not working.

What should I carry in my car for a road trip?

Here are the main things you should carry on a road trip:

  • Spare oil is the most important. Carry at least 1 liter of additional oil and check your oil levels every day and top up if needed.
  • Coolant should also be taken and utilized to fill the cooling system is required. Remember it is best to fill in the morning before you start up, and don’t do it when the engine has been running hot.
  • Windscreen washer fluid is worth carrying. Windscreens get covered with dirt and road dust on a journey, and we will often use our windscreen washers to clean them more than we think.
  • Take a cloth, rag or paper towels to be able to monitor your oil levels without making your clothes filthy, and to wash your windows.
  • A first-aid kit is crucial on a road trip. Use it to help small injuries.
  • A torch, a mobile phone, and maps or a mobile device with a maps app are handy also.
  • If you have roadside assistance, don’t forget to take your membership card with you also.

Planning your road trip

Set aside some considerable time to review your planned route before you leave. Check the conditions of the roads you will be using and especially the stops you will be making along the way.

Check out the road authorities websites, or even the motoring clubs to find up to date news on road conditions and alerts. This can prevent unforeseen delays to your next road trip.

Be sure to take some rest and relax breaks along the way. After all, you’re on holiday!

Keep your children amused

Tired and bored kids can quickly turn your dream journey into horror. To avoid them becoming bored, bring along the stuff they enjoy, such as books, toys and videos.

Pack your car for safety

Packing all the things in we think we may need for a road trip can be difficult. It is best to take only the things we need.

Thoroughly store the baggage and whatever else it is you’re bringing, so it is not able to move around. Unsecured baggage can become deadly flying weapons of damage in an accident, so everything should be safely stored and secured.

It’s best to store your baggage in the rear of your car such as the boot. This way, it won’t be dangerous if you have a crash. If you drive a station wagon or a hatchback, it is recommended to secure your belongings with a net.

If you have things attached to the roof, make sure it is very secure. Don’t take too much stuff that will overload your vehicle. A heavy car will use more fuel and put extra strain on your cars driveline. Take a look at your owner’s handbook to discover the maximum weight of the vehicle when fully loaded with passengers and baggage.

Stay safe and happy holidays!

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