If you are thinking about hitting the road this spring, it might be a good idea to get your car and your family prepared on time. There are several things that can go wrong, and the weather is usually unpredictable when the spring is just about to break out. That is the reason why you will need to be ready for all occasions and make sure that you are preparing for the trip. Driving long distance is something you need to get back into, especially if you haven’t been using your car for cross country trips during the winter.
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Update Your SatNav
One of the things you will need to think about is finding your way as soon as you can to avoid panicking and making a mistake because you get stressed out. If your satnav is not working as it should be, you might want to update your software or invest in the latest model. After all, you need to avoid roadblocks and traffic jams if you would like to enjoy your trip instead of spending time looking at the bumper of a car in front of you.
The only thing that keeps you safe on the road and separates your car from the hard surface is your tire. You will have to get the tires checked before you set off, as there might be a slow puncture you cannot even notice without thorough inspection. The better the condition of your tires is and the closer the pressure is to the recommended, the less it will cost you to fill up and the more efficient your car will be during the trip, too.
Fill Up Your Fluids
When you drive long distances, you will have to make sure that you are able to see and run your engine efficiently. With different weather and low sun, you will have to keep an eye on your windscreen washer liquid, maybe get your oil changed, and make sure that you have your antifreeze topped up, just in case. Have all the necessary liquids in your car, in case you run out. When the insects come out you will need to use your wiper and your fluid much more than usual, especially if you drive a lot in the countryside.
Check the Windscreen
You will also need to visually inspect your windscreen. Some of the smaller chips are simply hard to notice, but when you drive over a speed bump or something hits the windscreen at the same place, such as a pebble or stone, maybe hailstone, it can shatter your glass, making your car unsafe to drive. Look for imperfections in the glass and ensure that your windscreen wiper blades are working as well as possible, giving you a good vision out of your car.
Make It More Comfortable
Long distance driving doesn’t do any good for your lower back and your neck. That is why you might want to get a convertible car seat when you plan to be on the road keeping you and the passengers, especially the kids safe and comfortable. You will need to ensure that you are not straining your back and get the maximum visibility, so setting your seats up before you go on the trip is a good idea.
Plan the Stops
Image via National Park Service
No matter if you travel by plane and hire a car or drive all the way, it will be a long journey and you will get tired from time to time. Being absent minded or tired behind the wheel is never a good idea, so you will have to plan your route to include a stop every 2-3 hours. If you are taking younger kids with you, ensure that they can stretch their legs, run around, and go exploring, or they will drive you mad during the trip.
Think About Entertaining the Kids
While you might want to implement minimalist packing when going on a road trip, you will still need to ensure that your kids are entertained and you are able to focus on driving. Ensure that you have the screens set up, they have snacks that are safe for the car and will not make you clean for hours after you arrive, and their favorite toys to play with when they are bored.
Image via Wikimedia Commons
No matter how reliable your car is, you will need to be prepared for road emergencies. You can get stuck behind a broken down car or simply stop because of a warning lights. Hopefully you will have an updated navigation system and you will not get lost, but there are certain things you cannot avoid. Be sure to have warm blankets, emergency lights, and plenty of non-perishable food just in case.
You will also need to ensure that you are connected with the outside world and can ask for help when you need it. Adding a wireless charger to your car might be the perfect solution if you want to avoid arguments and keep the kids at the back happy. Your car’s cigarette lighter can easily be turned into a charging station with multiple plugs, so kids can top up their phones and tablets, and you can use your devices while on the road.
Watch Out for the Weather
In the spring, the weather can be unpredictable, so don’t take everything that the news say for granted. There might be a localized storm in the area you are traveling through, or high winds that will make driving dangerous. No matter if it is predicted to be calm and sunny, some places simply have their unique microclimate. Ensure that your heating and air conditioning is working properly, and you have the equipment you need to get out of mud or snow, in case you are going into the mountains.
Hitting the road in the spring when the weather is hard to predict and you need to get back into the routine of long distance driving will require special precautions, even more so when you are taking the kids with you.