Driving around the world can either be for work or for pleasure. Many of us buy a car so that we can do our daily commute to and from work. However, once the commute is over, we often then use our vehicles as pleasure tools. Driving holidays and road trips have become popular over the years. Often with driving holidays you’re able to take the amount of luggage you want and you also have control of your departure and arrival times. Another great benefit of a road trip or a driving holiday is that you get to take in some breathtaking scenery along the way.
What part of the world you live in will affect what type of vehicle you should use and the type of maintenance that may be required before, during and after your trip. Below we will take a look at some areas to consider before you embark on a trip or holiday with your vehicle.
Type of Vehicle
Although most people don’t buy a car for one purpose, it is worth thinking about the type of car you need for trip. For example, you may have the finest Japanese car import, but you are going on a long drive that is quite remote. Therefore, you may need to think about the availability of spare parts.
You also need to consider the type of terrain that you will be driving on. If you know you are going off the beaten track, you should look at 4 wheel drive option, as they will be able to cope both on and off road. If you already have a 4 wheel drive vehicle, getting the wheel alignment checked before and after a trip will help keep the tyres in good condition. The same can be said if you live in area where the roads are of high quality. In this case you could opt for a GT (Grand Tourer) type of car. These cars usually have large engines and seat 4 to 5 people, but with limited luggage space. The advantage to these types of cars is that they are fast and comfortable and they are very similar to large luxury sedans but have the added benefit of a sporty performance.
Once you have decided on the type of vehicle that you want to use, you then have to decide whether it is suitable for the amount luggage you require and the number of people travelling. This can influence your vehicle choice. In most cases the car you own should be perfect for your trip, but if you require something larger then you may want to consider hiring a vehicle. Hire vehicles will already be fully maintained, but remember to factor in the extra cost of hiring into your budget.
Stops / Overnight Stays
If you are doing a long road trip, you will need to plan your stops along the way. Look for hotels that have car parking available and also look at the local amenities as you maybe able to stock up along the way. This way you may not need to carry as much from your departing destination. Finally, when you plan a stop on your outward journey, don’t forget to plan stops on the way back. Depending on how far you are going, it is also a good idea to check for fuel stations along your route. Consider also carrying extra fuel in the fuel can just in case.
Repair and Service
As with any type of trip you must factor in service and repairs. Getting your car properly serviced before you leave on your trip is a good idea as you could avoid an expensive auto repair if you look after your vehicle. Some motorists like to take their older vehicles on their last run before they take them to an auto dismantlers yard. This may seem strange, but cars can often become a part of a family, so it can be used as its last ride before the new car arrives. Again, it if this is the case, it is always worth making sure your vehicle is fully checked.
As above, getting your vehicle checked by a professional mechanic is good practice, but you are also able do certain elements yourself. Checking the oil and water levels is a good place to start as this will help maintain good running performance for your vehicle. Checking brakes and tyre condition is also straight forward. All you have to do is a visual check on the tyre depth to make sure there is enough depth to ensure you have a safe journey. The same can be said for the brake check. If you have disc brakes, you can often see how much thickness is left on each pad.
Other simple checks that can be done at home are checking doors and windows. To check the windows, you need to make sure there are no cracks or chips that could cause an unavoidable problem. The condition of the doors is also important as you need to make sure that they can be closed properly. You also need to check whether or not child locks are needed and if so, they need to be set to the engaged position. At this point it is also worth checking if you have spare bulbs and a spare tyre, if you have the space. Finally, and this may seem like the most obvious but often forgotten, check fuel levels. Before setting off check to make sure you have enough fuel to get to your next stop as this is vital in making sure your journey goes smoothly.
It’s clear to see that there are some basic steps to follow when you decide to take on a road trip. As long as you are well prepared and organised you should have a very enjoyable road trip this summer.