It is true that most journeys are best experienced on road. The journey is always cherished more than the final destination. After all, a gala time with friends/family, through beautiful roads, hills, valleys, breathtaking views, unusual pit-stops, is surely a great memory to treasure! But in order for your road trip to be memorable, here’s an essential checklist, before taking a road trip:
1. Check your car: Get your car checked thoroughly at the nearby garage. Oil, filters, headlights, indoor lights, battery, proper tyres and air pressure, are some of the important areas you need to check and be sure of. Check your break lights, left and right indicators as well. Rear view mirrors is a must for long distance journeys.
2. Get your route right: A map is your best friend during road trips. Rely on it completely and mark out routes with a highlighter on the map. You should also mark the detours on this route as Plan B. Find out the hotels/motels, restrooms and restaurants on this route and more importantly, mark your pit-stops on the map. In this manner, you can decide your driving hours and your break hours. It also allows you to take a break at the right time. If you skip this part, there are chances that you might not stop at a restaurant for lunch, and would not find another restaurant in vicinity if you drive ahead.
3. Plan B: Always, always have a Plan B. You wouldn’t want to get deserted at an unfamiliar place, would you? Make a Plan B for everything. Extra tyres, different route options, survival kit, extra food, flashlight, extra batteries, spare keys, tool kit and a tent. This will ensure safety of everyone on the trip. Keep emergency numbers handy.
4. Get Insured: Check your auto insurance policy before you leave. The primary purpose of a vehicle insurance is to provide financial help against the damages occurred to any vehicle during a collision or an accident of your car. Make sure you have your car insured against such damages. This insurance is necessary not only before a road trip, but also for your regular use of the car. To attain a vehicle insurance for your car, you should just have the mandatory documents and be able to pay the premiums on time. Always carry your vehicle insurance policy papers in your car. More importantly, get yourself insured too and carry the papers during a road trip.
5. Always stay connected: As much as you have decided to make this a rejuvenating trip by cutting off all connections from the outside world, at the same time it is equally important to have Internet connection on your phone. This must have GPS connectivity too. When everything else fails during a crisis moment, this will be your life saviour. Embrace it.
6. One for fun: While we’ve listed many safety-check tips, here’s one for entertainment and fun – the most important part of a road trip! Carry music DVDs, camera to capture your trip, outdoor game elements like a frisbee or football, probably your notebook or laptop to watch movies and board games.
7. Carry your identity: Never forget to carry an original copy and a photocopy of relevant documents. This includes: driver’s license, auto insurance papers, passport and medical history information (if any). If you are in a fix, these documents can help you come out of that situation. In case of emergencies, these documents will help in your identification by acquaintances who are there around you at that time.
8. Handy medical assistance: Keep medical assistance handy during a road trip. A first aid kit, bandages, necessary medicines that you usually consume, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, sanitiser and wipes, are some of the essentials.
When all this is in place, there will be no room for haphazards and you will surely collect a bucket full of memories back home, of an amazing road trip!
Jeff Paul is a travel writer and writes for leading travel magazines and daily columns. He travels most time of the year and his job is to capture the best and worst of places and bring forward the must see and must do’s of a city. Apart from this, he also guides fellow passionate travelers on various different subjects surrounding traveling like safety checks, do’s and don’ts, auto insurance tips, successful road trips and how to become a travel writer, to mention a few. He travels to satisfy his soul and documents it to earn.