Few things in life are as freeing as hitting the road. A road trip can be an exciting adventure you and your companions will talk about for years – or a nightmare you’ll be groaning over for decades. Either way, you’ll have a story to tell, but if you’d prefer to go the exciting adventure route, here are a few tips for making your trip a success:
Don’t get stuck in the dark. Truly, there’s no predicting when or where your car will break down. Every car emergency kit should include a flashlight of some sort in case of emergencies. Better yet, make it an LED headlamp or lantern to leave your hands free for the dirty work. An LED lantern can make fixing a flat infinitely easier, while an LED headlamp is ideal for fiddling under the hood. And if for some reason you end up having to hike to the next town or gas station, an emergency LED lantern will make the trek safer and can double as a signal for help.
Bring some basic tools. Pliers, screwdrivers, a knife – if you or someone in the car has any handyman skills at all, these simple tools can get you out of a surprising number of scrapes. Instead of taking up precious trunk space with a toolbox, consider adding a multi tool to your emergency kit. A multi tool combines several tools into one compact device, so it’s easy to stash in the glove box or trunk. Choose a multi tool that has only the features you think you might need, without a lot of fancy bells and whistles.
Don’t rely on GPS. Electronic devices make life amazingly easier – until they fail. Bring along a good, old-fashioned road atlas and someone who knows how to read it. Keep an LED headlamp near the front seat so the navigator can pore over maps at night without disturbing the driver.
Keep your car in shape. Get an oil change and top off your fluids before you go. You should also make sure you or someone else knows how to change a tire, check the oil and radiator fluid and perform any other basic tasks your car may require.
Bring a cooler. Unless you want to dine on convenience store fare or make constant food stops, bring along a cooler with plenty of drinks, snacks and maybe even some meal-worthy fare, like pre-made sandwiches.
[Photo by: Kevin]