Summer is almost here and that means it’s time for a vacation. Here at Henley Honda, we think few vacations are more exciting and rewarding than the good old fashioned road trip. Whether on your own, with some friends or with your family, you’ll love the experience of the open road. Road trips can be stressful, but not if you plan accordingly. Here are some tips on how to make sure you get the most out of your travels:
Have a destination, but not a schedule:
Obviously, you’ll need to decide where you’re going, but don’t forget that the time spent getting there is as much a part of the vacation as the destination itself. It’s good to have a general plan for where you’d like to be on what day, especially if you’re meeting someone there, but don’t make it so rigid that there isn’t time for detours, planned or unplanned. You’ll also want to make sure you plan the amount of time you want to spend driving each day; long hours in the car might sound easy in the planning stage, but will become tougher as you travel.
Know your route:
Research in advance the different ways of reaching your destination. Major highways will often offer the most direct routes, but regional and rural routes will sometimes offer better scenery and local charm. Knowing your route will also help you plan your gas and food stops. Consult maps that show different routes and make notes of possible stopping points along the way. Likewise, make sure the maps on your GPS are up to date in case of unexpected detours that take you off your planned route.
Plan for your passengers:
This is especially important for parents travelling with children and passengers with differing travel styles. For children, bring toys and games and plan in-car activities, such as road games, that will keep them from getting restless during those long hauls. Make sure the activities aren’t distracting to the driver and will keep their interest for long periods. For other passengers, be willing to compromise about when and where to stop and, if possible, share the driving. This will help to keep everyone enthusiastic about the trip and help alleviate any problems that the close confines of the car could exasperate. It’s also a great idea to pack snacks and drinks in a cooler to save money and stay on the road longer, while making sure everyone is comfortable.
Get your vehicle ready:
Have your vehicle inspected and any regular maintenance performed, such as oil changes and battery and fluid checks, by your Honda service advisor a couple of weeks before you plan to leave. This will help to prevent any unexpected problems when you are far from home and give you time to have any necessary repairs taken care of before you head out.
Be sure to understand your Honda’s capabilities in terms of fuel efficiency for highway and city driving as well. You don’t want to make assumptions about how far you can drive on half a tank of gas and discover you’re wrong a hundred kilometres from the next service station.
Before you leave, make sure your vehicle’s emergency kit is fully stocked with everything you might need, including jumper cables, a small tool kit, flashlight and batteries, and bandages. Check your spare tire to make sure it is properly inflated and in good repair and clean the interior and exterior of your vehicle. Pack your maps, any reservation information, and your vehicle’s manual in accessible places and make sure you pack your trunk so that it is balanced and secure.
Keep in mind that you can’t predict everything that will happen on your trip, but with the right preparation, you can make sure that you’ll be safe, fun, and have an awesome time in your Honda!