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Road tripping is one of the best things about having a car and definitely one of the best ways to spend a holiday. Planes, trains and buses can get you so far, but driving gives you the freedom to go everywhere within reach.
If you have never road tripped before, or you have and it was a disaster that ended with a phone call to some informative car accident lawyers, then a few safety tips are just what you need to have a great time without a worry.
Pre-Road Trip Car Maintenance
Lots of people set off on their road trip without checking that their car is in good shape to go the distance. This is a pretty daft thing to do – especially when lots of the jobs are easy enough to do yourself. Check your fluids and pack some extra screenwash in the trunk; double check all your lights; check and change your filters where necessary.
If you aren’t confident with this kind of stuff, ask your mechanic to give your car a quick once over for you. Knowing that you are starting well will give you the confidence you need to enjoy your trip.
Always Pack a Medical Kit
You should take a small medical kit on all your holidays but on a road trip, you may need a few extra items as you won’t necessarily be near a doctor. Pack your usual painkillers, rehydration sachets and plasters but also make sure that you take antibacterial hand gel, bandages and a flashlight just in case an accident happens in the dark.
Bring Plenty of Food and Water
Another really obvious suggestion, yes, but you would be surprised how many people don’t pack enough. Make sure that you have at least 2 litres of water per person – the minimum you should be drinking each day – and pack energy bars as well as other long-lasting foods. These are ideal because they don’t take up as much room. Every time you stop at a shop, take the opportunity to restock your supplies for the next leg of the journey – you don’t want to be stranded in the desert and unprepared.
Have a Map (And Know How to Use It)
Sat Nav is definitely one of the best inventions for the road tripper who wants an easy life but you should also make sure that you have a map and you know how to use it. While sat nav is often brilliant for getting out of a pickle, if the satellite goes out of range or the box stops working, you will wish for a map to get you back to civilisation!
Take Regular Breaks
Taking breaks is easy to do when you arrive at each destination, but remember that distracted or tired drivers are often the ones who cause accidents on the road. Even if you aren’t quite there yet, pull over and have a drink and a snack to relax your mind after concentrating on the road.
The best option is to schedule stops every couple of hours and see if there are any short detours you can do to make these stops more interesting before you set off.