Summer Road Trip Tips
Top 10 Tips For Road Trip Preparation
Summer vacation means one thing to many families: road trip. Even with fuel prices skyrocketing, heading out on the road is still one of the most cost-effective, and fun, ways to explore the country and bond as a family. Before you hit the trail, we have a few suggestions to help make your family road trip a smooth ride.
An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure
Some of our suggestions fall into the category of routine maintenance; some can be considered emergency preparation; some suggestions are designed to help you get more out of your trip. All of the suggestions should help you to drive safely and allow you to enjoy getting to your destination.
Maintenance: Hoses And Belts
It's time to open that hood. With the engine off, make a quick visual inspection of all of your hoses and belts. Look closely at the edges of the belts for any stray threads or roughness. Look at the hoses and clamps. Give the hoses a squeeze, if they feel too spongy, they may need to be replaced.
You've checked your brake fluid, now it's time to inspect your brakes. First, use your ears: do you notice any scraping sounds when you apply the brakes, or any squealing (like metal-on-metal)? Those are bad sounds for brakes. Now use your nose: any burning smell? Finally, your eyes: inspect those brakes for obvious rust, pitting or damage. Have your brakes inspected if you are unsure about their condition.
Emergency Preparation: Cell Phone
One of the best emergency tools you can carry is a fully-charged cell phone. Don't forget to carry a cell phone charger or two in your vehicle as well. If you don't want to have an ongoing cell phone bill, pick up a "pay-as-you-go" cell phone to keep in your glove compartment, strictly for emergency use.
Emergency Preparation: Tools
Don't head out on your road trip without a few basic tools: A selection of screwdrivers; a hammer; a rubber mallet; an adjustable wrench; a lineman's pliers; a wire cutter; a pair of needle nose pliers; some baling wire; a can of WD-40; and a rag. You never know when a simple tool can save your family vacation.
Fun And Learning: In-Car Entertainment
Sure, you can buy DVD players, MP3 players and portable gaming units for each passenger in your vehicle. There's a place for that. But don't forget about good old-fashioned family fun. Organize a sing-along, play license plate bingo, point out interesting landmarks or even talk to each other. Your road trip can start a great family journey that never ends.