The open road has always been a fantastic way to travel, especially on a holiday. Road tripping has gained even more in popularity as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make air travel a riskier proposition. Airports have emptied out — hubs in New York saw a 90% reduction in usage compared to this same period last year! This trend is occurring everywhere and the air travel industry is geared up for a reduction in service set to last for the foreseeable future. This means a reduced flight schedule and the potential for higher prices across the board. As a result overland journeys will become more and more popular amongst those trying to escape the city for a weekend away or the cross country trip to see family for the holidays. If you’re planning to get on the road, here are some steps you’ll want to take.
Logistical essentials to get you on the road.
A reliable car is obviously the first necessity of any road trip. Those already on the lookout for a new vehicle can take advantage of the bevy of lenders out there and get pre-approved for a car loan with simple online forms. There are plenty of online lenders in the marketplace, making auto loans a very simple line of credit to be given. Banks make their earnings from giving out loans and prequalification streamlines this process. So this increased marketplace only benefits you as the borrower. With more options to choose from there is no reason you can’t find a great rate with favorable repayment options in the loan terms to fit your budget. Your car loan options — loan amounts, interest rates and monthly payments — will depend on your credit score, of course. A free credit score checker can help you get a handle on your status before even approaching a bank to see about an auto loan. Make sure you know your credit score before car shopping so that you get the best deal on a car loan with the lowest interest rate possible. You should also do an online check to see which lender you’ll want to work with.
You also need to ensure that you maintain good maintenance habits on your vehicle. If it’s been awhile since you got an oil change or rotated your tyres, consider taking the car into the shop for servicing before you hit the road for a long voyage. The last thing you want is to deal with a break down out in the middle of nowhere and hours or days from home.
Pack up the car with snacks and sweaters.
When planning your trip it’s important to remember all the conditions you may encounter while away. If you are camping or plan to drive through the night, it’s a good idea to bring a few petite sweaters along and keep them within arm’s reach, no matter the temperature. Trips like these have a tendency to encounter the lower end of temperature ranges, making you cold and sleepy — the worst thing one can be while driving.
Keeping a charged backup battery and wires for your phone in the car is also a must on a long journey. At least one third of Australians are still using their phones while driving. Much of this is for GPS use only, complying with road safety laws. However the GPS drains your battery in a hurry, so keeping the device charged and operating at full capacity is important for staying on the road and getting to your destination without any trouble.
Another great idea is to pack snacks or sandwiches if you know you will be on the road for an extended drive. Having a lunch handy instead of needing to find a place to stop along the way can give you that break you need at exactly the right time. Instead of waiting for miles before finding somewhere to pull off, you can take any exit that’s handy for a quick bite to eat and a few minutes out of the car to stretch your legs.
Road trips are the way of future travel, for at least the time being. Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy before embarking on a long journey and make sure to have fun with your road companions while driving. Singing along to your favourite tracks or playing highway games is a great way to pass the time and have a laugh while doing it.