4 things that can go wrong on your family road trip and how to prepare @LucasHParker1
11 Nov 2019
With the majority of people flying everywhere they can, one would think that classical road trips have become forgotten. But that is not the case and they can be a great experience within themselves. It is not about the destination, but the voyage there, right? The experience of getting up and taking a ride with your loved ones and enjoying the trip every step of the way is still irreplaceable for many. There is something special in being actively engaged in traversing a long path, it is ingrained in our very nature. The responsibility of taking a road trip into your own hands does come with obligations and potential hazards that can hinder or even ruin the experience. Let’s go over the bullet points of how to prepare for an experience without hiccups.
1. Vehicle check-up
First things first, we need to be sure that our vehicle is actually able to get us there and not leave us stranded in a middle of nowhere with a cracked axel. Well in advance, about a week or so before the long trip, we should have fluids checked, levels, brakes, tires and anything else that might be reaching its expiration date. If it is a cold season, pay special attention to the car battery as it can suddenly die in very low temperatures. Tires need to be inflated properly and yes, that also goes for the spare one as well. Jumper cables and wiper fluids are also essential. For the best experience, make the effort of cleaning the vehicle. Napkins, gum and snack wraps tend to make a mess over time. Animal hair can be very unpleasant in long rides, especially to people who are allergic. The junk will surely accumulate for the duration of the road trip, so try and mitigate that by preparing the vehicle as best as possible.
2. Keeping it casual
With all this serious talk about preparation and chores, one would think all the fun has been sucked out of the entire adventure. But that is not the case. The best way of keeping it relaxed is not to plan everything too tightly. There will always be delays and unforeseen occurrences that make up the entire experience. Try not to over-schedule your road trip as you will surely find yourselves not meeting the arbitrary deadlines. Always plan with a healthy amount of buffer. This way, you will not find yourself in a situation to have to cancel a hotel reservation or a restaurant because of being late. On the other hand, having no plan at all is an even worse idea. It is always better to have a clear destination and purpose and is also much more feasible. All in moderation.
3. Being prepared
We have covered all the ways we can prepare our vehicles and accessories for the safest, trouble-free trip. That does not mean that trouble still won’t find a way. Being prepared and being careful are two different things and work best in conjunction with one another. Something might happen that is outside of your influence like a wheel that is stuck in mud or a broken car key, to name a couple of situations. Four-wheel drive vehicles will have a much better time if stuck in loose soil but make sure to bring a two by four, just in case that wheel needs a little help. All vehicles have a set of spare car keys so make sure to bring them along in case your kids trap the first set inside.
4. Foreign factors
You can exercise almost full control over what is yours, but you can never control other drivers. That also goes for other potential road obstructions such as wild animals or fallen trees. Calm and collectiveness is always the best way of handling things, especially when behind a wheel. Foreign areas are especially prone to mistakes such as wrong turns or outright getting lost. There is no shame in pulling over and consulting the map or a person with better knowledge of the area. Remember, your safety and the safety of all passengers is the most important factor of any road trip. Another good idea is to look up local rules and regulations, preferably ahead of time and get familiar with them. And of course, always have your hands free, without distractions. Bluetooth earphones are ubiquitous and can save you a lot of money in fines, repairs and medical expenses.
Finally, make sure to have plenty of entertainment for those lower moment on a road trip. Snacks, video entertainment for the kids and power banks are a staple of every such adventure. Having fun and making new experiences and memories that you can all look back upon one day will be forever captured in your minds and photographs as well.