Planning a road trip can be exciting. Whether you are going on a little excursion yourself or with family and friends, road trips are a great way to bond with those around you and relax. However, a lot can go wrong during a road trip if you have not prepared your car. A car is capable of enduring many long hours on the road but you have to ensure it is well equipped to last the journey.
Here is a set of guided checklists to prepare your car and yourself for your next upcoming road trip!
The first thing you need to check before you start loading items into your car is to make sure the vehicle itself is roadworthy. Here a little checklist to make sure you have all the boxes ticked.
- Check if your fuel tank is filled to the brim. You don’t want to be hours from your destination and stranded because of an empty tank.
- Check to make sure your tyre pressure is at the recommended pressure. (You can check this by looking at a little sticker usually located on the inside of the driver’s door).
- Does your key show signs of wear and tear? If so, replace your car keys to avoid situations like having your key stuck in the ignition.
- Ensure your fuel and temperature gauge are fully operational so that there isn’t a chance of you running out of petrol or it giving you a wrong reading.
- Ensure you have enough oil and radiator coolant.
- Check under the vehicle for possible leaks or damages that may obstruct your driving.
- Ensure all head/tail lights and indicators are working… or you could risk being pulled over by the police and end up having to face a hefty fine.
- Ensure your windscreen is free from scratches or cracks. Windscreens are one of the main and most important components of a car. If your windscreen has a crack or scratch, these little marks could easily expand enough to obstruct your vision of the road when driving. If you have a crack in your windscreen, get it immediately fixed before the damages become more severe and costly. If you experience windscreen scratches and cracks often, there may be underlying factors behind it that you may be able to fix on your own. Here is a handy article on how you can prevent windscreen scratches.
- Ensure your windscreen wipers are working properly in the case of a heavy storm. Wipers are an essential part of a car to ensure drivers can safely drive in the event of heavy rains or storms.
Back-Up Items Checklist
- Ensure you have a spare tyre in case of a tyre puncture.
- Carry a spare jerry can in case of a fuel mishap.
- Keep a spare pair of your car keys in case the original gets lost.
- Keep washcloths and paper towels in case of spills in the car during a road trip. (We all have that one friend or family member that is bound to spill a little BBQ sauce on themselves and their seat).
- Ensure you have all the tools for changing a tyre.
- Ensure you have a little first-aid kit in case of minor injuries.
Things to Take Note Of
- If you go through several hills and steep roads, be sure to check that your car engine is running smoothly from time to time.
- Make a list of car repair places that you will come across during your road trip. Therefore, if you experience a car breakdown that you can’t fix, you can easily contact a repair service instead of being stranded and behind schedule!
- Ensure you have the correct level of Roadside Assistance Cover and that you have a copy of your insurance in your glovebox.
- Keep a list of relevant contact numbers you may need during the trip in case you’re out of service or need to make an emergency call.
- Obvious but – CARRY YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE AT ALL TIMES.
- If travelling involves towing along another vehicle, be sure to test it before hand to be certain that it has the towing proper equipment and towing capacity. So, check chains, sway bars, shackles and everything else you might need to make sure they are all firm and capable of carrying out the task.
- Check weather and road conditions to your destination a few days prior to taking off so you are aware of the challenges you might face or perhaps even postpone the trip.
What You Need to Bring and Do Checklist
- Snacks and drinks to avoid having to stop driving.
- A map or GPS with the correct directions to ensure you do not lose your way.
- As a driver, ensure you stay focused on the road and free from distractions caused by your travelling companions.
- If you are bringing kids along to the road trip, ensure they have enough videos and games to keep them entertained so they make minimal noise.
- If you own a traditional car that has an ample amount of boot space, load all your luggage in the boot as it will stay contained and you won’t have to worry about anything falling. If your boot space is not enough, only then should you use the back seat to store the rest of your luggage.
- Organise your luggage in a way it does not obstruct the driver’s rear view. This is really important. Many people are fine with their rear view windscreens being obstructed, however when reversing, taking a turn or when switching lanes, it is extremely important for the rear view screens to stay clear to avoid an accident.
- Start loading your luggage well before you intend to start your road trip. Often times, we overpack and therefore need time to organise the space in the car to ensure everything fits.
- When loading your luggage, place it in a way that restricts movement. This is to make sure there are no loose items that may turn into a safety hazard when driving.
- If you don’t have a car boot, and own something like a Ute, secure your luggage with a net to ensure nothing falls out onto the road when driving or use ropes to tie down items.
- Don’t overload your car. This will not only slow you down, but it may cause the bottom of the car to scrape against the road.
- Remember to carry all your important medications with you as well as your medication scripts in case you run out or lose your medication.
- If you are travelling within Australia, chances are you are going to be troubled with mosquitoes. Carry an insect repellent for emergencies.
- Paper bags or plastic bags in case someone feels car sick.
The FUN Checklist
- Make sure to bring your phone charger/ USB cord.
- Compile the ultimate road trip playlist to sing along to and keep you pumping through your trip!
- Bring a camera to take photos of the beautiful surroundings while you travel.
- Perhaps a good book you can get engrossed in.
- A travel or neck pillow so you can stay comfy at all times.
- Whether you are travelling with your family or friends, having games to play during a road trip is always the best part! Download a list of travel games you can play while on the road!
- If your car has a little TV screen then maybe download some fun clips to watch or a movie for the backseat bandits (However with this option, it is important to ensure the driver does not get distracted).
- A drone to take videos from an aerial view (These are sure to make your friends and family at home jealous and make for some insta-worthy posts!).
If you intend to travel or go on a road trip where the destination is over three hours away, it’s important to do a quick safety check of your car to ensure you don’t face any obstacles on the road. So ensure you prepare your car for a road trip just as well as you would prepare yourself. However, anything can happen, which is why it is always worthwhile to go through and pack the items under the back-up checklist in case of emergencies. If you are going on a road trip that might last for several hours to days, you may want to consider going over the ‘What You Need to Bring’ and ‘The FUN Checklist’ so you are fully prepared for any situation!
At Novus Autoglass, we can ensure your screens and windows are prepared for your journey. Our team of leading experts in windscreen repairs and replacements will get your car windscreens fixed and ready in no time! Call us or visit our store today!