For many people, summer is almost synonymous with road tripping. This is especially true for families with kids who are on vacation. But going on a long road trip, especially to the Grand Canyon can be a fun or dreadful experience, depending on how you look at it. Either way, you’ll be better off preparing your car before you hit the road to ensure a safe and hassle-free trip.
Here is a useful checklist to help get your car road-trip ready a couple of weeks in advance.
Know your coverage
When you’re going on a Grand Canyon road trip, there’s a lot to think about. The first thing you want to check off your list is car insurance. You need to know what’s covered and what’s not. Find out your auto insurance limits for collision, comprehensive and liability. You must know the extent of your coverage.
Get a checkup
Whether you do it yourself or take it to a shop, make sure your car gets basic maintenance. This should include an oil change, tune up, and ensuring that fluid levels are where they should be, such as the coolant and brake fluid.
Make sure your battery is in top shape
One of the most common breakdowns during a road trip is often due to a dead battery. Before you hit the road, make sure your battery is functioning and fully charged. It will be difficult to get to your destination if the car doesn’t start.
Check your tires
Another common breakdown on a road trip is usually related to worn out tires. For everyone’s safety on the road, carefully inspect your tires for any tears or bulges on the side wall. There should also be enough tread left on the tires. You can easily check this by holding a quarter upside down in the tread. If you’re able to see the top of George Washington’s head, then you probably need new tires. Keep in mind that tires can heat up on long trips, which increases the risk of blowouts on worn out tires.
Pack an emergency kit
Hopefully you already have an emergency kit stocked in your car – and hopefully you won’t have a need for it. But it’s always best to be prepared for an accident or other medical issue. Some of the basic items your kit should have are a flashlight, blanket, water and, of course, a first-aid kit.
Wash your car
Hitting the road with a freshly washed car isn’t so much about looking good as you cruise by as it is about having the best visibility. So at the very least, make sure your windows are clear of any dirt.
Pack only what you need
If you’re like most families, you tend to over pack. Take a good look at what everyone has packed, including any heavy cargo that will go in the trunk or the roof rack, and ask if you absolutely need it. Not only will excessive weight on your car reduce your fuel economy, but it can also make the car more difficult to handle during emergency maneuvers on the road.
Get a GPS navigation system
Long gone are the days when you needed an actual paper map. But having a map is still important. If your car doesn’t already have a built-in navigation system, get a portable one or you can easily use an app from your mobile phone, like Google Maps. Not only will this come handy in case you get lost, but it’s helpful to stay on top of real-time traffic and road conditions.
Get a Activity Tracker
There are a variety of outdoor Activity Tracking devices available on the market today that will never let you be lost again. These GPS enabled hiking trackers are small, handy and easy to use. They are capable of loading local area maps, sending out distress signals and are designed to give you constant weather updates so you know when to take shelter.
Preparing your car for a road trip takes just a little time, but it goes a long way. By taking these simple steps you will ensure a safer and more pleasant experience for the whole family. Now, what are your tips to keep everyone in the car entertained for hours? Share your ideas in the comments section below.