4 essential road tripping tips to make your next trip great

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4 essential road tripping tips to make your next trip great with (Image: Supplied)
4 essential road tripping tips to make your next trip great with (Image: Supplied)

Great tips to remember for road trips

by Sheryl Thiel

Here's a few things you need to remember for your next road trip, with, supported by Motus Nissan (previously Imperial Select):

1. Pre-travel car check

It’s a good idea to do a few quick checks to make sure your car is road-trip-ready.  It will only take a few minutes but could save you a lot of trouble.  

Here’s what you need to check:

  • Fluids (oil, break-fluid, water, and coolant) – this is an under-the-bonnet check
  • Leaks – following the under-the-bonnet checks of the fluid levels, it is a good idea to check for any leaks from various components and hoses underneath your car
  • Lights – check all globes, including break lights
  • Wipers – ensure the wipers are clearing the water from the windscreen and sort out any irritation squeaks
  • Wheels and tyres – check the tread and the pressure. Also check the steering to see if the vehicle pulls to one side
  • Spare wheel – make sure the spare wheel is in place and that it is properly inflated
  • Jack and tools – ensure you have a jack, spanner, and a few basic tools, and while you are at it add in jumper cables
  • Brake pads – the composite inner part needs to be above 5mm thick. Also make sure your handbrake is working correctly
  • Ensure vehicle registration is up to date

If you have no idea how to check these things – or if you know your vehicle is due for a service rather book it into your nearest reputable service centre.

Several dealers offer FREE pre-holiday workshop checks. It'll be worth your while to look for these at your nearest dealer!

2. Eliminate towing troubles

If you are towing a caravan or trailer, be sure to tow-the-line with these checks:

  • Ensure compatibility between your vehicle and the trailer or caravan you're towing. Also ensure you're compliant with towing weight regulations
  • Make sure it is roadworthy and that you have the correct driver’s license. Also check that all vehicle licences are valid
  • Ensure that all the necessary components are in place and that they are in good working order. These include the jockey, tow hitch, coupler, safety chains and brake and light systems
  • Driving with a trailer or caravan in tow generally requires increased concentration. Ensure you have enough space to overtake and remember that making turns are more difficult

3. Have a clear plan

Although throwing caution to the wind and driving off into the sunset spontaneously sounds romantic and fun… planning things upfront is a much safer option. Here are some things to consider:

  • Decide what route you are going to take and work out estimated travel time. Make sure you know the directions
  • Plan what time of day would work better for you to travel
  • Plot rest stops and decide if you need to sleep overnight somewhere to break up the trip
  • Pre-book overnight accommodation to avoid disappointment

4. Don’t forget - make a list

When you are making your list of what clothes and holiday essentials to pack – make a separate list of these important road trip travel necessities:

  • Valid driver’s licence
  • Valid vehicle registration
  • Money for toll gates
  • Petrol card
  • Music
  • Cell phone charger
  • Items to entertain the kids
  • Refreshments
  • Extra water
  • First aid kit. Also make sure you pack all the necessary sanitisation products to ensure the health safety of your entire family

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