With the holidays upon us, many of you will be planning car trips to visit family and friends. You could be traveling inside the state or could be preparing to cross state borders. Whatever the case may be, you should always plan accordingly. While there are plenty of tips that will keep you safe on the road, here are a few holiday travel tips.
Not only with these tips for holiday travel keep you safer, but they also help make the drive more comfortable as well.
Holiday Travel Tips — Keep Your Car in Shape
Before heading out on the road, it’s important to make sure you’re all caught up on car maintenance. The last thing that you want is to have to pull over on the side of the interstate because you have a problem with your vehicle.
It’s really quite simple to do this. Every auto center is happy to inspect your vehicle for you. When you take your care in, ask your trusted automotive service to take a look at the following:
1. Tire Pressure
If your tire pressure is too high, you could pop it if you hit a curb or a pothole. However, a tire with too little tire pressure could slow you down and mess up your mpg. Or, it could affect your tire traction if you hit a patch of ice or a slick spot in the road.
2. Change Your Oil
Take a look back through your car maintenance records to see that last time that you had your oil changed. Oil lubricates the different components in your car. Changing your oil regularly lowers friction between these parts and lengthens the life of your engine.
If you’re on a high mileage trip, this could be very important to the life of your car.
3. Check Your Headlights and Taillights.
If you end up driving at night or during a storm, you would want to make sure that other cars can see you on the road. This includes coming and going.
A working pair of taillights means that the person behind you will see you in time to stop in time if you have to stop suddenly.
Properly working headlights means that other cars in front of you will be able to see you on the road. Headlights are also imperative to your driving. They help you detect wildlife or other obstacles on the road in front of you. Did you know that a 2016 statistics report shows that Texas as the highest number of wildlife collisions in the country?
4. Gas Tank
Make sure to fill up your gas tank and be prepared to stop when your gas level is low. Sometimes traveling on the interstate means that you won’t see a gas station for long stretches of road. Pay attention to your car’s mileage and gas consumption to avoid running out of fuel.
Plan Your Route
The most significant part of a road trip is getting there, so naturally it’s one of our bigger holiday travel tips. Take a look before you get on the road to avoid construction sites and to consider alternate routes.
Part of planning your trip includes what time you’ll leave. If you live in a city or know that you will be passing through one, consider what times of the day traffic will be busiest. Avoiding 5’oclock traffic could make your trip shorter and save you a headache.
Tolls are another thing to consider, as they can be expensive. If you plan your route accordingly, you could end up saving a pretty penny. Most mapping apps have the option to look for routes without tolls.
Packing is usually everyone’s least favorite part of traveling. But, planning ahead could make it easier.
Start cleaning out your car a week before you leave. This way you won’t be trying to organize an already cluttered car while packing for the trip.
Pack a separate bag from the rest of your luggage to hold items you need to access quickly. Maybe you’re planning an overnight hotel stay during your trip. In this case, you could make the trip easier by packing your heavy luggage on the bottom and your overnight bag on top.
Consider things like phone chargers, auxiliary cords, flashlights, and roadside safety kits before leaving the house. They may seem like small, unnecessary items, but could mean the difference between an enjoyable trip and a bad one.
Sure, road trips can be boring, but this doesn’t mean you should drive as fast as you can to reach your destination more quickly. This puts you, your passengers, and other cars on the road in danger.
Drive the speed limit and pay attention to your surroundings. Finding a good podcast or an audiobook can help you pass the time while you’re in the car. (Don’t forget the auxiliary cord and charger.)
Road trips can be full of surprises and unplanned mishaps. Following the holiday travel tips listed above to make your trip easier and safer.
Ask us about your next inspection or an upcoming trip at Northwest Auto Center of Houston. Call us today at (281) 894-8880 with any questions or to schedule your next service or a repair.