Road trips can be a fun way of traveling at any time of the year. However, you should make sure that you plan ahead and take the necessary steps to ensure a safe trip. This is especially important if you are planning a long road trip in an extremely cold or extremely warm climate, where you are more likely to have car trouble. With a little bit of planning, you can be sure to get through any mishaps on your trip with ease.
- Have your vehicle serviced
- Take breaks
- Use GPS
- Keep the gas tank full
- Stock up on snacks and drinks
- Pack a first aid kit
- Prepare an emergency kit
- Check the weather
- Buckle up
- Keep everyone entertained
Have your vehicle serviced
Make sure your car is prepared for the hours on the road, the possible weather conditions and normal wear and tear. Generally, this includes regular maintenance checks on the vehicle, oil changes and checking tire pressure. If you want to be extra safe, you can bring your car in for a tune-up before hitting the road. If you’re renting with SIXT, our fleet is new, with most cars less than a year old.
Take breaks & get some rest
It can be very dangerous to be behind the wheel when you’re drowsy or haven’t rested in a while. It’s worth the breaks and pit stops to make sure you get to your next stop safe and sound. If possible, switching drivers every so often is also a good idea.
Although you plan your road trip ahead of time using Google Maps, lots of hours on the road can have a high probability of making the wrong turn. Having a copilot with GPS or map on hand can be quite helpful, also to see what sites there are along the way. If possible, have your GPS map downloaded just in case you find yourself on a road with no phone service. Also check out our guide to some of the most popular navigation apps to help you on a road trip.
Keep the gas tank full
Something you don’t want happening to you during a road trip is running out of gas. Make sure the tank is full before you leave and don’t wait until the tank is almost empty to fill up. You never know where the next gas station will be, especially on the back roads of an adventurous road trip.
Stock up on snacks & drinks
Keep your energy levels up with a full belly and stay hydrated. Choose a variety of snacks and food, maybe mixing sweet and savory, healthy and junk food. It’s also important to always have enough water on hand. You never know what can happen when you’re driving in the middle of nowhere.
Prepare an emergency kit
As for other handy supplies, keep a flashlight in your car, along with a portable power bank or car charger for your phone and a blanket. You can also put some extra clothes in the trunk, as well as some extra water in case you or your car need it.
Pack a first aid
It never hurts to prepare for the unexpected. A first aid kit is a handy thing to have on you for any type of trip, even road trips. You never know when you might need something as minor as a bandage or disinfectant.
Check the weather
The weather is a factor travelers should consider since it can really affect the driving conditions, especially in the winter. If you have to drive on icy roads, stay focused. Make sure your vehicle has winter tires and maybe even snow chains if there’s any chance of freezing weather. As for those traveling in the summer, avoid overheating the car, check your tire pressure and remember to always have some bottles of water on you. Keep tabs on moving storms and check the weather report for the area.
Safety first; wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of injury or death in case of an accident. Make sure everyone in the car has their seatbelt fastened when the car is moving.
Keep everyone entertained
Bring along music or movies for those in the back seat to stay entertained on the road. This is important especially if you have kids along, so they can stay entertained and are less likely to distract the driver.