Hey, here’s pretty much every road trip movie ever:
Inevitably, a well-meaning but poorly planned road trip leads to debacle after debacle. Car failure, no money, hitchhiking with a crazy semi driver. The key to a good road trip movie is disaster.
The key to a good road trip is having nothing in common with a good road trip movie.
How do you ensure your road trip isn’t like the movies? There are 2 key things to think about.
- Who You Go With
- How You Get There
Who you go with is your business, we’re just saying: Unless this is a family road trip (Sorry, you’re stuck!) think long and hard about who you get in the car with. If the thought of spending hours (even days) next to their sweaty shoulder makes you queasy, you might want to rethink your road trip.
Tips For a Frustration Free Journey
If done right, a road trip can be a (mostly) fun experience from start to finish, not just after you reach your destination. There are a lot of variables working against you, but you can can improve your chances of enjoying it by following a few quick tips.
- From before: be selective of who you travel with.
- Pack lots of snacks — by not relying on gas stations, you’ll save time and money and reduce your chances of dealing with hangry people.
- Plan Ahead – Know your route before you leave. Use online mapping tools, not ancient paper maps, to check for construction and reduce your chances of surprise detours.
- Update Your GPS – if you’re using a Garmin, TomTom or other standalone GPS (other than your phone), update your maps before you leave.
- If you’re using your phone for GPS, great–you don’t need to update your maps. Make sure you have a phone holder to keep your hands free to drive.
- Pack an emergency kit
Make Sure You Can Actually Get There
A road trip isn’t a road trip without a vehicle. For a well maintained, reliable used vehicle, we recommend you start at Ride Time (duh). Already have a car? Great! Make sure it’s good working order.
Regardless of where you got your car, you need to make sure it’s up to the road trip. The easiest way to do this is to take it to your mechanic for regular maintenance. Before going on a long road trip, take it in for an inspection.
Things You Need to Check
- check oil
- change filters
- fuel system cleaning
- replace damaged wiper blades
- inspect tires for wear
- check suspension
- test cooling system, – summer is hot!
- transmission service
- check belts
- top off fluids – (coolant, antifreeze, radiator fluid, transmission fluid, wiper fluid)
Some of this you can probably do yourself, like wipers and topping off fluids but unless you’re an auto mechanic by trade, your best bet is to leave it to the professionals. Your local mechanic can run through this routine inspection quickly and inexpensively.
Remember Enjoy the Journey
It’s not called a road trip because of where you’re going, it’s called a road trip because of the time you’re going to spend on the road. So wherever you’re going, remember to enjoy the journey, too. It’s all part of the experience.
Nobody enjoys being stranded by the side of the road, so be sure to get your car checked out. If it turns out your vehicle isn’t up for the trip, come see us in Winnipeg and we’ll set you up with a road worthy vehicle quickly—and we’ll throw in complementary oil changes for life, walkaway debt protection, and the friendliest customer service around.