Before you go road tripping with the fam for a much-needed getaway this summer, there are some things to keep in mind prior to hitting the road. Brian Moody, Executive Editor for Autotrader and monthly contributor to YurView’s Creative Living show, has some great advice to get you road trip ready.
Planning a Road Trip
Summer is here and it’s about time to start planning that annual road trip. While it’s unlikely you’d buy a new car just for one trip, there are some features and tips to keep in mind as you hit the interstate.
- Road Tripping with a Minivan
- Check Your Fluids
- In-Car WiFi
- Charging Cables
- Roadside Assistance
- Take Frequent Breaks
- Snacks and Blankets
Road Tripping with a Minivan
If you do take frequent family road trips, a minivan is a solid choice. The Honda Odyssey is the perfect example of why minivans work so well for family trips and just everyday life.
First, minivans have large side doors. This makes it easy for kids to get in and out without a whole lot of intervention from parents. It doesn’t sound like much, but that one thing multiplied by days, weeks, and months of carpool, road trips, and shopping trips quickly adds up to a more pleasant experience. In addition, most minivans today have the option of power sliding doors. Find a Honda Odyssey for sale near you.
Check Your Fluids
No matter what kind of car you have, before you even start on your trip, make sure you check the various fluids under the hood. Oil, coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid should all be checked and filled to the appropriate level according to your owner’s manual.
Properly functioning windshield wipers are a must as well. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, take your car to a qualified shop just before your trip. And be sure to check your tire pressure.
Having the proper tire pressure will help you get the best fuel economy. Even if the pressure is off just a little in only one tire, that can dramatically impact the way your car handles.
There are a few features to look for if you are about to replace your family car. Retractable sunshades can help keep the sun out of your baby’s face. You can even buy add-on sunshades from your local department store. These usually have suction cups to attach to the window.
Also, consider a car that has in-car WiFi or an entertainment system for the back seats. Vans like the Honda Odyssey and others have this feature available as an option. The Odyssey has a unique feature that lets you create a custom playlist from songs stored on separate mobile devices.
You can accomplish something very similar by using collaborative playlists in Spotify. I have several collaborative playlists that a friend and I built together. To make a playlist collaborative, just tap the little silhouette of a person to invite others to contribute to your playlist. It’s a great way to discover new artists or songs. A bit of a warning here: Make sure the person you collaborate with has good taste – just sayin’.
Charging Cables for Your Road Trip
Keep in mind, none of this will work if you don’t have the correct charging cable. These days, your phone can literally be a life saver so make sure you have several power cables for your phone, and one for each type of phone you have in the car. If you’re going to be in a remote area, maybe even bring a spare external battery.
Consider getting a roadside assistance plan. Most major insurance providers offer this as an option.
Take Frequent Breaks
Don’t forget to bring sunglasses. This can help reduce fatigue on a long trip.
A few other things to keep in mind:
Remember to take frequent breaks, and look for roadside rest stops. Also, don’t overeat – that can make you tired.
If you have to talk on the phone, do it with a hands-free set up like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or something similar. Today, there are many aftermarket radios that include both Apple and Android connectivity, just like in a new car.
Snacks and Blankets
Finally, bring snacks, a blanket, and an extra pair of shoes. You’re not planning to have a breakdown but if that happens in a remote area, you may have to spend the night in your car or walk to get help. Remember, even in the summer, it can get very cold overnight in the mountains and in the desert.
Even if you’re not looking for a new car, following just a few of these tips can make your summer road trip safe and fun. If you are looking for a new car, here’s how you can find a minivan for sale near you.