You just bought your dream car, and now it’s time to go on that epic road trip. Summer is around the corner, and part of your car-buying process was making sure it was roomy and had excellent gas mileage. However, before you take to the road, you want to make sure your new ride is kitted out with everything you need to make travel easier. If you want to improve your daily commute, consider:
1. Ask yourself what kind of entertainment you want at your fingertips.
Would you love having Sirius Radio? Want to make sure you have extra aux cords so you can play your own playlists? No matter what kind of entertainment you like on your daily commute, make sure you have everything necessary—including backups. Commutes can be great times to indulge in some waking meditation, learn a new language, or catch up on audio books.
2. Always have an empty gas can available.
It’s often faster and easier to make a short trek to a gas station if you ride that “empty” signal too long. Roadside assistance will get to you, eventually, but just in case you’ll want to have access to a can immediately (and they can be quite costly at gas stations).
3. Keep an emergency kit with you at all times.
It’s never overkill to have supplies in the event that something unexpected happens This includes both a first-aid kit and basic emergency supplies such as flares and jumper cables. Many kits are available ready-made so all you have to do is toss them in the trunk.
4. Get organized.
You’ll want to find a quality organizer to keep your ride comfortable and accessible. It’s easy to let your car turn into a veritable storage unit, but you’ll enjoy better peace of mind with everything in its place.
Daily commutes are one thing, but if you’re gearing up for a road trip, it’ll take a little more prep and planning. Here’s what you’ll need before hitting the road:
5. Stored copies of car-related documents.
Make sure you have easy access to both hard and soft copies of your license, insurance, and any roadside assistance-related documents. Bear in mind that if you don’t have Wi-Fi, your apps may not work. You don’t want to be pulled over only to be ticketed for lack of insurance proof just because your phone can’t connect.
6. Check the tire tread (even if you just bought the car).
Safety is a priority on every trip, but tires can really take a beating on an extra-long road trip. Make sure you have adequate tread on all tires, and that your emergency kits include both a spare tire and an easy to use temporary spray fix for holes.
7. Get your necessary charges in duplicate.
You’ll likely depend on your phone for a variety of reasons on a road trip, and that can quickly drain the battery. A charging unit with multiple outlets lets everyone in the car stay fully charged. If your vehicle comes with built-in GPS, take the time to plug in destinations to preserve your phone’s charge.
8. Discourage distracted driving.
This goes for yourself as well as your passengers. Resist the urge to look at your phone by keeping it in airplane mode when you’re behind the wheel. Take turns driving, and always play it safe if you feel groggy. A quick car nap in a well-maintained rest area is worth losing a few extra miles on the road. Studies have shown that driving tired is just as dangerous as driving drunk.
A new, or new to you, car is an exciting purchase. Make the most of it by equipping it with a few features. Keep in mind that many options may be more affordable when you don’t buy directly from a dealer. Shop around and think of what you enjoy about being behind the wheel. What would make the experience even better?