Road trip tips: What to do before you leave home
Posted by: Cal on 16/06/2014
Before you make your tracks on an awesome roadie, there are a few things you should organise. It takes a little more than simply throwing a map in the backseat and hoping for the best!
Here's a list of things to check off before you set out en route. While your road trip will probably go off without a hitch, you'll be really grateful for making sure you're organised beforehand if something does go wrong.
Know where you're going
Before you leave home, make sure you'll well acquainted with your destination and how you're going to get there. How long does the drive take? Which stops will you take along the way? What route are you going to follow?
Take a look at a map and plot out your route. Even if you have a GPS system or map with you when you leave, it always pays to go into a little more detail beforehand.
If you're venturing somewhere remote, such as the Outback, you should also check the local road conditions and make sure there are no warnings or closures in place.
In addition to this, make sure your accommodation is organised. There's nothing worse than turning up to a small town and finding out there are no vacancies!
Always tell somebody trustworthy where you're going and when you should be expected at your destination.
Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy
Before you even think about starting the car and driving off into the sunset, you need to be completely sure your vehicle is up to the task.
First and foremost, ensure your car meets all legal requirements. Make sure it has recently been looked over by an expert and that its components, such as engine, brakes, oil and water levels are all in good, working order.
Don't look over other safety essentials, such as your car tyres. Inspect them for basic surface damage, such as punctures or wear and tear. Then make sure they have adequate tread and pressure and have followed the manufacturer's recommendations for rotation and replacement.
It's also essential to think about the kind of terrain you're going to be tackling on your trip. Are you sticking to smooth highways, or will you be heading off-road onto gravel or even more extreme ground? If so, consider alternatives such as 4x4 or all-terrain tyres.
Pack so you're prepared for anything
While you don't want to weigh your vehicle down with unnecessary items, there are some things that just shouldn't be left off your packing list.
A spare tyre and all the tools for changing should always be kept in your car, in good condition. Check up on your spare's condition before you leave and make sure it's in adequate order. If you've never changed a tyre before, you might want to practice!
Bring a list of phone numbers with you, such as family members and friends, and a roadside assistance service who can help you in the event of a flat tyre or other situation. Remember, a map or GPS system is always an essential.
Bring enough water to last all your car's passengers for a day or two, plus some non-perishable snacks in the event you're stuck anywhere. Bring at the very least a basic first aid kit with you. Warm clothes or blankets are also advisable.
While some of this might sound a bit doom and gloom, it can really make a difference should something happen.
When all that's sorted, you can get around to the fun parts of travelling. That is, making playlists for the journey and daydreaming about all the fun you're going to have on your holiday!