Author Bio: Sarah is a freelance writer for a website that is able to compare car insurance and insurance providers for families! She is always making sure people are properly covered for all of their vacations. When she isn’t dealing with insurance, you can see Sarah traveling the United States in her Nissan Leaf.
Vacation travel in an automobile is an enjoyable way to reach any destination and enjoy the convenience of private transportation during your stay. Having a dependable vehicle is essential to the enjoyment of the trip since every activity might exist in a different location. Safety begins with treating the automobile that will be driven on the trip as though the family’s life depends on its health and reliability. Just in case anything comes up, you should make sure you have proper car insurance for you car. While this extra effort may seem unnecessary, these recommendations will prepare the vehicle so the entire family will enjoy a great trip!
1. Two to Four Weeks Prior – Visit the Mechanic
A trusted mechanic will notice lurking problems that might become an issue on a long road trip. Reveal your travel plans and include your destination and basic route so he can make seasonal recommendations for the trip.
– Major Repairs – Ask the mechanic to perform the necessary major repairs with plenty of lead time to drive the car in town for a few days prior to the trip. If anything remains outstanding, the car can be taken back for further repairs.
– Fluid Levels – Coolant levels and transmission fluids are essential to the proper operation of the vehicle. These levels should be topped off prior to the trip to ensure the car is running smoothly.
– Tire Inspection – The spare tire should be removed from its bracket and checked for proper tire pressure. Any tire of questionable quality should be replaced immediately.
– Glove Box – The contents of the glove box must include the proof of insurance and the registration forms. Verify the dates on the forms and place them in an accessible position. Remove any unnecessary debris from the glove box and organize the remaining contents for easy access.
2. One Week Prior – Verify Maintenance Status
If the vehicle is driven a significant number of miles each week, the oil change or other maintenance services might be due again before the trip. A reliable car is essential to successful travel since the car becomes the substitute for the home while the family is on vacation.
– Check the Tires – If any tire shows sign of losing air, address the issue immediately.
– Clean the Interior – All extra stuff should be removed from the car prior to packing for the trip. Anything that is necessary for work should be left at home to reduce the clutter in the car.
– Acquire Maps – Some stores are much less expensive for the valuable maps of the areas that are on the travel itinerary. Many of the local convenience stores will be sold out of area maps, so take some time prior to the trip to find good maps of the destinations.
– Road-Side Assistance – If the car insurance quote does not include roadside services, join an automobile club that will provide these services. No one wants to think that something is going to happen, but being prepared is important when the family is on vacation and fun depends on reliable transportation.
3. Day Before – Final Preparation
Wash the car exterior and clean all of the windows. The interior should be vacuumed and all of the dust should be removed from the dashboard and console. Inspect the license plates and gas cap to ensure everything is in proper order. Adjust the mirrors and remove any items that will cause visual obstructions for the driver.
– Final Tire Inspection – Even though this task may see redundant, there is nothing more important for safety than tires that hold proper pressure. If a tire is not holding air, correct the situation prior to departure.
– Fill the Gasoline Tank – Instead of waiting to address the detail on the way out of town, fill the gas tank and be completely ready to depart first thing the next morning. An average mileage per gallon calculation should be performed on each full tank of gasoline.
4. Departure Day – Final Decision Time
Everyone seems to pack as though the travel destination is somewhere out in the middle of the desert. Each person should be limited to one suitcase and one day bag, which will carry personal effects. Discuss the importance of packing lightly and leaving extras at home.
– Load the Car Evenly – The entire load of baggage and people should be evenly distributed from front to back and right to left. Every vehicle has a weight limit which should be known and respected.
– People Last – After the final bag is loaded, allow the passengers to embark. If anyone sits in the vehicle during the loading process, that person is usually ready to stop about an hour before everyone else. Encourage everyone to walk around the house and yard prior to getting into the vehicle.
Whether the trip is within 100 miles of home or across the entire country, all of these steps are important to assess the reliability of the automobile. The vehicle becomes central to the success of the trip because every event and day of fun depends on being able to arrive safely and on time. Emergency repairs during the vacation will be costly, and the time required to make the repairs will detract from the family fun. Older vehicles will require more repairs and maintenance activities prior to a long trip, but preventing problems will give the driver peace of mind and ensure a safe mode of transportation.