Motoring Tips: Prepare Your Family Vehicle for a Long Trip across America
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For some people, a good-old road trip across the country is still the rite of passage in the United Sates. You see, for quite some time now, Americans had a big fascination with the open road – some think it is actually build into their DNA.
And while some of you may feel like road trips aren’t as popular today as they were, let’s say, thirty years ago – think again – according to data from the American Automobile Association, last year, more than a third of Americans took a family vacation of 50 miles or more away from home.
How to Prepare for a Long Road Trip
Now that we’re in the middle of a busy summer travel season – with the gas prices dropping steadily – it’s actually a perfect time to gather your family and head out on the road.
Now, if this is your first time traveling across the country, you’re probably just a bit worried – planning an ordinary vacation is one thing – but a full-blown road trip across the US is a completely different beast altogether.
So in order to help you have a safe trip – and make your life a lot easier in the process – here we have a couple of things you need to do before you set off on a cross-country trip with your family.
Preparing Your Vehicle for a Cross-Country Trip:
Make Sure Your Battery’s charged
For starters, you need to be sure that your battery is fully charged before you leave and that it has clean terminals. You don’t even need to go to the repair shop for this – you can simply apply some baking soda with water, and it will do the trick. Remember a road trip won’t even happen if your car won’t start in the first place.
Carefully Inspect Your Tires
If your car is no more than a couple of years old, than your tires should have a decent amount of thread left. Nevertheless, you need to take a good look at your tires and look for any tears or bulges. If you don’t have a gauge, you can just take a quarter and hold it upside-down in the thread. If Mr. Washington’s head is clearly visible, then you need to change your tires as soon as possible.
While all of us now have GPS systems build- into our smartphones, you should still go ahead and buy a portable navigation system. They are simply more reliable than phones and will enable you to carefully map out your route and find restaurants and gas stations along the way. And if anything happens, a GPS system can lead an emergency service to your location, no matter where you are.
Be Careful Not to Over-Pack
Lastly, we need to talk about a common mistake lots of people make – packing their bags without checking their vehicle’s loading capacity. So try to eliminate some unnecessary items from your luggage, like extra clothes and shoes in order to make room for long-trip essentials like snacks and water bottles. Also, you should consider acquiring a compact food kit that has enough food for the duration of the trip.
Additional Tip: Schedule a Checkup Just in Case
Before you go on your vacation, it would be wise to perform a basic maintenance on your car. So go to your local mechanic and ask him do check the wipers and your fluid levels. If you don’t want any surprises in the middle of nowhere, you need to make sure that your car’s in top shape.
Even a short trip has its fair share of challenges. You have to know long the drive will take in order to know how much food you need, plan how many stops you’ll need to take so on and so forth. And the longer the trip the bigger the hassle.
But don’t worry; if you carefully follow the instructions we presented above, you’ll have no problems preparing for a trip across the States.
Just make sure that every member of your family is on the same page, because you don’t want to get stuck in a car with a bunch of unhappy passengers for more than eight hours a day. And if you’re traveling with kids, consider planning a shorter trip – you’ll save yourself a lot of time and stress.
So what do you think about our tips? Did we miss something important? Do you maybe have any personal tips of your own that will make such a long trip easier? If you do, make sure to tell us all about it by leaving a comment in the section bellow.