It seems like I am ALWAYS on the road. Whether I’m going to my hometown, visiting my boyfriend, or going back to school – I always find myself in my car and, in most cases, by myself. I know my parents trust me to travel alone but they’re always relieved when I text them saying I made it to my destination safely.
But what if something happened while I’m traveling alone?
A flat tire, car accident, or dead battery can leave you scared and helpless on the side of the interstate. Everyone thinks it couldn’t happen to them, but what if it does? Will you know what to do?
My good friend Matt and I were talking the other day and he suggested I do a post on the common car maintenance and tips everyone should take into consideration before traveling.
Have the tools you might need in your car!
A flashlight, tire pressure gauge, and jumper cables are only the beginning of what you need to keep in your vehicle. Most cars come with a kit that includes a jack and tire iron.
But do you know how to use them? Ask a friend to show you the basics: how to jump off your car and how to change a tire. These are life basics everyone should know. Why don’t they teach us this in high school??
BONUS TIP: Be aware of Mother Nature: Watch out for a chance of rain or storms and snow or ice, especially in these cold months.
Is it time for a checkup?
Keeping up the maintenance of your oil every 5,000-7,000 miles. That’s very important to remember! If the car’s oil isn’t changed as often as it’s supposed to, it can damage the car, which can get super expensive!
My mom always reminds me to walk around the tires every so often, too. Sometimes you don’t hear your car run over a nail or a change in temperature can make tire pressure go down.
Fill up before you go
If there’s one thing my dad still tells me before I travel, it’s go fill my gas tank. There’s nothing scarier than stopping at a sketchy gas station at night. Or even worse, running out of gas! Don’t let that happen. It can definitely be avoided!
BONUS TIP: Check-in every step of the way: Texting a family member or friend when you leave and arrive to your destination is just good habit to keep.
GPS is your BFF
By GPS I don’t just mean your Maps app. It doesn’t take traffic into consideration and doesn’t always help you find the fastest route. Apps like Google Maps and Waze are more ideal for the long haul. Google Maps tells you which route has the most traffic and will reroute if you are about to run up on a jam. Waze is super neat! It’s more like a social media and drivers add where they see cars parked on the shoulder, trash in the road, or cops ahead.
I hope you take these things into consideration before embarking on your next voyage.