My husband and I just got back from a Thanksgiving road-trip to St. Petersburg. And since moving to the far reaches of the world (read: Miami), long-haul treks in the car seem to be our new normal. Whether it’s getting out of the way of impending hurricanes or heading out-of-state to spend holidays with family, we’ve covered a lot of miles in the car.
With this in mind, I thought I’d share a few tips for getting your car road-trip ready. Winter holidays are fast approaching and you might want to load up your car with presents and hit the dusty highway. But I would encourage you to make a list and check it twice to ensure you reach your destination stress-free and safely!
- Check tires. First, check the level of wear to your tires, and the level of air inside them. For wear, you can make this assessment yourself if you feel comfortable or have them checked out by a professional. For air, consult your car’s manual for the recommended pressure and use a gauge to test if your tires comply. If you don’t have a gauge, most gas stations will have one available.
- Check fluids. Brake fluid, oil, power steering fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and coolant can all be checked by popping the hood of your car. Almost all cars allow for easy access to check these fluids and should be clearly indicated on their caps. If you are in any doubt how to check these levels, you can always consult your manual or a mechanic.
- Test lights. Grab a buddy and check to make sure all your lights are working. Test the headlights, brights, turn signals (front and back), as well as brake lights. The last thing you want on your trip is to get slapped with a citation for a light being out.
- Clean and organize. Next, clean out the interior of your car and make sure all windows and mirrors are wiped down and clear. Place all your important documents in an envelope in your glove box. Consider other items you might want to have close at hand, like tissues or sunglasses, and stock your car accordingly. Grab a designated trash bag to keep your floorboards from getting overrun by trash and use bins to corral items that might roll around and cause a distraction.
- Prepare for emergencies. Finally, invest in emergency preparedness items to keep in your trunk. You can create your own kit based on the time of year and landscape of your drive or you can purchase one like THIS or THIS. Items to consider: Jumper cables, water, blanket, first aid kit, tools, flashlight, and energy bars.
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle that meets all your road-trip needs, hop on over to CARS.COM. This fantastic resource is full of info on all sorts of models.
How do you get your car road-trip ready? What do you think makes a great road-trip vehicle? Share in the comments below!