We have officially entered the warm summer months here in New Brunswick, and we know you’re itching to get out on the open road. As the weather brightens and the days lengthen, there are family memories to be made, and what better way to make them than sharing a summer road trip in your family vehicle!
Of course, you’ll be packing all the essentials; cool summer clothes, comfy shoes, swimsuits, flip flops, bugspray, and whatever else you’d like to enjoy on your adventure. You’ve prepared your excited family, but you may not have known that you can also prepare your vehicle to ensure the best trip experience as well!
Road trips are a great way to explore some new places far away or close by that you may have never seen before. However, before you set off on a trip, it’s always a good idea to prepare your car for the adventure so you don’t hit any snags or run into any problems on the road. This is especially important if you’re planning an adventure to an area you may not be too familiar with as far as certain service or convenience locations.
How can we prepare our vehicle beyond packing our things? Well, starting with the most important, safety, we’ve created the perfect checklist for a great family road trip experience!
– Whether your vehicle is freshly new to you, or you’ve had it for years, you should familiarize yourself with each of its features. This may seem almost out of focus, but strongly familiarizing yourself with your vehicle, its abilities and features, actually increases both your safety and convenience. This strengthens your comfortability and reaction time within the vehicle as well, helping you be more efficient and responsive on your driving journey.
– Your brakes are obviously an extremely important part of your car, so why not double check and make sure they are functioning at 100% capacity. Listen carefully to spot any squeaking or scraping sounds. If you happen to notice a burning smell, or that your pedal goes all the way to the floor, this probably means you need to replace the brake pads and give the area a good check-up.
– While you’re checking certain functions of the vehicle, you should also check your tires and your lights. Take a look at your tire pressure and make sure it matches up with the guidelines set out in your owner’s manual. You’ll also want to check the wheels for any bulges or cracks and inspect the condition of the tire tread. Check your headlights, blinkers, brake lights, hazard lights and reverse lights and make sure they’re all in working order. Are any of the lights cracked or burnt out?
– The final thing you’ll want to check is your AC. This is, of course, isn’t related to safety as much as convenience, but we’re certain it’s something you’d like to have working for your warm, summer trip.
– Another important step is to review your vehicle’s documents. Review the expiration date on your license plate sticker, on your insurance, your passport and on your driver’s license. You may also want to check up on your (or look into a) CAA membership or travel insurance, so you know you’re covered while out on the road.
That’s our safety check-in, now, what else can you do to prepare your vehicle for your trip? There are definitely some essentials to pack in a vehicle for a long family road trip. We’re all able to access maps and directions on our phones, but if you’re more comfortable with a physical map, it wouldn’t hurt to pack one, just in case. This will work as a safety net in case your phone loses signal at any point as well.
If you’re going to be spending hours inside your vehicle, you’re going to want it to be clean, tidy and enjoyable. Having your cabin cluttered and messy can be overwhelming, and can definitely take away from your summer road trip experience.
Clean and organize:
– You won’t want to take a trip in a dirty, sticky car, so cleaning the interior should definitely be on your pre-road trip to-do list. You’ll want to pay extra close attention to surfaces you’ll come in contact with the most throughout the ride, such as your seats, floor mats, door handles and armrests, storage compartments, cupholders, dashboard controls, etc. You should also make sure your trunk is tidied so that nothing in the back could damage your luggage or any souvenirs you may acquire along the way. To finish off your cleaning, why not give the exterior a quick wash? Bugs and bird poop are hard on your vehicle’s paint, and we know there’s no shortage of those out on the open road.
– Having all of your things organized will be important as well. There’s nothing you want less on a road trip than that stressful scrambling, looking for a phone, map, or charger as the driver approaches that exit which may or may not be yours. Tidy out and organize each of your most used storage compartments so you can safely store your trip necessities and keep them accessible. Make sure to bring the respective chargers for each of your family’s entertainment devices you may bring. You’ll want to designate where they can be plugged in before losing them down the bottomless, black crevice between the seats and center console. Another easy way to prevent this, when you’re not using the cords, is to gently coil them up and place them in a Ziploc bag or small container. This will keep them all together and make them much harder to lose in the abyss if dropped. Now, of course, on a long car ride, you’re going to want some food or snacks at some point. It’s a very good idea to keep a designated bag or small bin for garbage. You’ll be able to empty this when you need to at your next roadside stop and it will prevent your vehicle from turning into the sanctuary of crushed potato chips, granola bar wrappers, and bottle caps.
Car care, cleaning, and organizing can be a pain for those who don’t enjoy it, but it’s worth the work to prevent having an adventure ruined by a preventable problem. Your vehicle works hard on a road trip, so you should give it the best possible care and what it needs to keep running. From here, your family and vehicle should be all set to head out and enjoy the summer weather and open road!