Road Trips: Is Your Car A Marathon Runner Or A Short-Distance Sprinter?

Posted by Ben Davidson about 10 months ago
The road trip is a driver’s tradition and a kind of holiday that deserves to be done right. But we can all imagine and have probably heard of the kind of horror stories that happen along the way. Most ruined road trips begin with a car that’s not fit for the journey or preparation that hasn’t been properly taken care of. To make sure your road trip is a pleasant dream, and not a nightmare, you have to make sure you got the motor for the job.
 
The check-up

This isn’t negotiable. If you want to make your vehicle road trip ready, you have to do a pretty comprehensive check before you set out.  If you were going for a long-distance run, you would spend plenty of time making sure you were in fit enough condition. The same goes for your motor. Changing the six essential fluids of the car is essential. As is checking whether or not you need replacements for brake pads, air filters, light bulbs, and so on. Then there are the checks you have to make while you’re out there on the road. Your tires are going to see the brunt of the punishment on the trip, so checking air pressure every 1000 miles, getting them rotated every 5000 miles, and preparing for replacements if you’re going over 25,000 miles can save you a lot of hassle.
 
Should you really take your own?

There’s also some wisdom in saying that perhaps you shouldn’t take your own car. Using services like Bayswater Car Hire can immediately remove the hassle of some of the check-ups above, as rental cars are rigorously maintained before they’re given out. It might prove more cost-effective, too. Yes, there’s an upfront cost for renting but if you choose a car that’s more fuel efficient than your own motor, it could mean bigger savings overall. There’s also the question of reliability and wear and tear. You’re putting the miles on someone else’s car, not yours. You don’t suffer depreciation, the costs of further maintenance, and you are also less likely to break down if your own vehicle isn’t as resilient as it once was.
 
Size matters

A road trip is a vacation, so you’re going to want to pack well. This might mean several changes of clothes, camping gear, coolers, and so on. For a longer trip, you’re going to need plenty of space, so bigger might be better. There’s also the factor to consider that bigger cars tend to be safer. Then again, for some road trips, this isn’t necessarily true. If you’re stopping at and exploring more cities on the way, then a smaller car that’s more fuel efficient in urban settings might be a lot more convenient.
 
Know the way

If there’s one skill that’s essential on any road trip, it’s navigation. There are plenty of apps you can get on your mobile that can help you plan out a route and find stops along the way. However, when it comes to actually navigating roads and getting reliable data on where you are, even if you’re out of service range, then choosing a GPS to buy for the trip is your best bet. CNET constantly updates with reviews of the different devices on the market, so it’s worth checking out and finding the one that fits your budget if you don’t have one already. If you’re renting a car then, of course, you should consider those that come with the most updated and reliable dashboard GPS systems available.
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Prepared for any situation

When it comes to packing, you shouldn’t just think about what you’re going to need to better enjoy the road trip in comfort. You should also think of the provisions you need to handle the many issues that can come up on the trip. Regardless of how well looked after a car is, the more you drive, the greater your chance of breaking down or ending up in some other vehicular predicament. Sites like Tyre Right have some great emergency kit checklists that you can use to make sure you’re prepared for any trouble. It includes safety gear such as reflective vests and cones and repair and maintenance equipment. But it’s important to also consider personal safety and health with extra bottled water, food, and light sources in case you’re stuck out there waiting for help.
 
This isn’t an exhaustive list of how to best prepare for a road trip, but it’s going to make sure that the car will be the least of your worries. With that out of the way, you’ve already eliminated some of the biggest risks that can put an early end to your rambling adventure.


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car tips, travel tips, tip of the day

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