Whether you’re embarking on a spring break road trip or just heading out for an afternoon drive, these tips will make the journey more joyful and less “are we there yet?”
From the road trip games to the road trip snacks, there’s a lot to love about road trips—but poor planning can take your joyride from a great time to a total stress event. Ensure the success of your next road trip with these smart road trip tips, which will ensure your drive goes smoothly, even if poor weather or a roadside catastrophe strikes.
Find the right car organizer for your needs, download, or update your preferred driving directions app, and get excited to start driving: These road trip tips will ensure everything else (other than picking a destination or route, of course) is taken care of.
Give your car a check-up
Check your fluids (oil, brake, transmission, and wiper), tyre pressure, and treads, Assess the wear on your tyres with a coin: Press the edge of the coin inside the tyre groove. If you can see the top of the head, the tyre needs replacing. If wiper blades make noises or leave streaks, get new ones before you hit the road.
“You don’t want to find out your wipers don’t work while you’re on the highway in a deluge of rain,”. Make sure your first aid kit is stocked, and program a roadside service number into your phone to save yourself if a tyre goes flat.
Plan your route
Aim to find a single spot where you can take a break, get gas, eat, use the bathroom, and spend time outside. The app is a great way to discover fun locals that can turn a break into a quick, family-friendly diversion. On a longer trip, take a break every two hours or 100 miles. It’s good for your body and will make you a more alert driver.
Pack it right
Look up your vehicle’s GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) in the manual to find out how much total weight your car can hold. Subtract the car’s curb weight and passenger weight to calculate how many kilos of luggage you can add. Don’t overload your car, which is bad for gas, mileage, tyres, and safety. When you pack, stock-heavy items low and toward the car’s centre, putting progressively lighter items on top. This method limits the danger from projectiles in a sudden stop and, by keeping the car’s centre of gravity low, can help prevent rollover.
Set up your seat
Adjust the seat height to keep your hips slightly higher than your knees. If you have bucket seats, you may want to place a cushion or rolled towel behind the small of your back. The steering wheel should be close enough that you can grip it without locking your elbows. The old “10 and 2” hand position is no longer considered the safest, due to steering wheel airbags. Instead, try 9 and 3. Once you’re comfortable, adjust your mirrors so you can see out of them without craning your neck.
Frequent braking and accelerating can put a dent in your gas budget (and annoy passengers!), so use cruise control on highways to maintain speeds. The way you pack can also affect mileage, especially when you stock things on the roof: Reserve that spot for light but bulky items, like sleeping bags.
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