Who is ready to get out and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine? ME!!! As our world opens up one of the first things that comes to mind is, “where are we going?” The real question is, “how will we get there?” Considering the precautions that we need continue to take to help stop the spread of the virus, travel by car seems to be the safest choice. The great American road trip will be the Summer of 2020 theme.
Before you hit the road, there are a few things to think about and take care of to ensure that you have an enjoyable, carefree vacation. Now, I know many of you will think, these are no-brainers, but it’s always best to have checklist to make sure nothing is forgotten.
Here is a short list of things to check or have checked.
1. Check for recalls. Recalls are put into place because they pose a threat to your safety or the safety of your passengers. Many vehicle manufactures used the same airbag company when they were building your cars. Check online at https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls to see if your car has an open recall. It could be a lifesaver, literally.
2. Take your car to your Certified Mechanic to have you car looked over. It’s possible that your vehicle may have just spent the past 90 days in the driveway and you are thinking “it’s not due yet”. The reality is, it is harder on your car to sit than it is to be driven. The battery may become week from keeping the memory items active. The fluids can become contaminated by condensation that builds up in the space that is not being lubricated. Rubber hoses and belts can start to become dry and crack. Gaskets can begin to dry up and can cause a fluid leak. Just as it is not good for our bodies to be idle for prolong periods, you car can experience similar issues.
3. Pack an emergency roadside kit. The unknown of what businesses or facilities will be open for business along the way can pose a problem. Also, no matter how well you plan ahead or care for your car, there is always a possibility of a breakdown. A good list of essentials are:
- Cell phone and charger
- First aid kit
- Flashlight with new batteries!
- Non-perishable snacks
- Flares and a white flag
- Jumper cables or one of those small jumper batteries
- Tire pressure gauge
- Jack for changing a tire, you should add a mat for the ground too.
- A change of clothes
- Basic repair tools and some duct tape. Duct tape can be used as a temporary repair for hoses.
- Paper towels for cleaning up
- Extra windshield washer fluid (my pet peeve)
- Maps, you never know if your GPS or phone will work in some places.
- Emergency blankets, towels and coats
- Masks or face coverings
Last but not least, bring your smile! Get out and enjoy. Soak up every little experience. It’s been a while since we have been allowed to just be on the road for pleasure. Use this time to relax and have gratitude for the beautiful country we live in. Happy trails y’all!