19 Sep

5 Precautions to Take on a Road Trip

If you’re looking to pack the car and go on a road trip, it’s important to make sure you’ve planned for any potential unforeseen circumstances that could occur.

But as with any contingency, the simple fact is that you can’t 100% guess what could happen to hinder the enjoyment of your trip. But here are a few simple things you can do to account for a number of possible problems.

1. Motor vehicle insurance

If you have a vehicle, then it’s a very wise idea to have insurance. Of course this isn’t something you can simply take out the day before heading off, but it should be something you have at all times for any vehicle you own.

The simple fact is that out of nowhere you could be involved in a crash, get lost and run out of fuel, your vehicle could simply stop working or someone could even steal your vehicle. In these circumstances you’ll want insurance that helps cover the costs of getting out of such situations. In particular choose an insurer that also provides roadside assistance.

2. Know where you’re going

One of the best ways to prevent yourself from getting lost is to map out where you’re going first. Make sure you’re using an up-to-date map, be it a GPS, something like Google Maps or the good old referdex. 

Map a good couple of routes in case any changes have been made to the roads since. If you feel you’re going in the wrong direction, pull over as soon as possible and assess where to go from there. Don’t simply keep driving and hope you find the right way.

3. Have your vehicle serviced

Before heading out on a big trip, make sure your vehicle goes in for a service so that it’s as close to good as new as possible. Having your vehicle break down halfway through a massive road trip is last thing you’ll want. It’s also important to check that your oil levels are good, that you have plenty of petrol in the tank, and your tyre pressure is what it should be.

4. Prepare yourself for situations you can’t control

What if the weather turns bad like it did back in the 2011 floods in Queensland? You could find yourself cut off in a town you didn’t plan to stay in. Do you have enough money and enough supplies to cater for an event like this?

What if you’re involved in a car crash or become the victim of vehicle theft? As much as we want things to go smoothly, this won’t always be the case. Typically it will only be minor hiccups, but sometimes the situations that occur are far more serious than we anticipate.

So make sure you have money in the bank, a good amount of supplies and some way of reaching others in case of an incident.

5. Take it slow

Another important thing to remember is to keep calm and enjoy your road trip. Problems can seem much larger than they actually are if you fret or spend too much time trying to get things done quicker than they need to be. So just breathe, keep a level head and assess each situation as objectively as you can.

Have any other tips you’d like to mention? Share with us in the comments below.

* Image source: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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