How not to spoil a car trip
Preparing a car
Let’s start with your car. If maintenance is approaching, carry it out a little bit earlier and replace as many consumables and parts as possible. A couple of kilometers you can drive with no need to change oil isn’t worth the worn engine. Most trips are associated with a long ride at a high speed that makes the engine work more intense. Thus, oil should be fresh.
Replace brake shoes and discs if they are more than half worn. You can use them later. However, we recommend you not to spoil your vacation because of the damaged brakes. Check your wheels state and its balance, bearing adjustment and other parameters that you usually neglect.
Make these preparations at least a week before the trip in order to check the quality of performance.
Pack your car only with the essential stuff. It is very unlikely that you will carry out heavy repair on the roadside. It is better to immediately replace those parts and components that you are not quite sure of.
Development of market relations has led to the emergence of shops that sell spare parts as well as service stations almost everywhere, especially near public roads. Thus, there is no need to take a full tool kit for assembly and disassembly. A standard wrench set will be enough.
As to spare parts, we recommend you to take an alternator drive belt, a set of lamps, a set of plugs and hardware (bolts, screws, washer of different size, a wire roll).
Food for you and your car
Today the distance between filling stations is significantly shorter as compared to the distance which you can travel on one tank of fuel. Take a small 5-10 litre can to be on the safe side.
All the abovementioned is okay if you are not going to go far away. Otherwise, take everything you may find helpful, however, only if you know how to use it.
Decide whether you are going to eat at roadside cafes or you prefer to cook yourself.
In the first case, you need nothing more than just a couple of sandwiches and a thermos of hot tea. Other perishable products may spoil even before they can be eaten.
If due to any reasons you don’t like the food served at roadside cafes, the food you are going to take with you should be kept properly and easily cooked. Do not take products packed in fragile containers. During a long trip, you will definitely beat them to pieces. Hot weather may turn familiar dishes into something unbelievable. For instance, cheese and chocolate become liquid, sausage gets sticky and bread turns either into something solid or wet.
It is very difficult to plan your trip beforehand because every time you tend to bail off the road to see another tourist attraction or may need to come round a repairable bridge. We recommend you to have the most detailed roadmaps. Not all of them are quite reliable, however, they give you a general idea.
The more drivers in the car, the better. There’s no doubt that a single person can’t cover a distance of more than 700-800 km per day. Moreover, he is getting so tired that in a couple of days he even stops perceiving the world around him. If you want to spend your time living somewhere, and your car trip is not long, you can deal with it. However, if you are going to constantly move from place to place, think about the driver and his health state.
Change drivers every 400-500 km. Try to combine it with eating, short run or simple workout. An average speed regardless of the type of the car will hardly exceed 75-90 km/h. You won’t be able to put on higher speed due to the road and other road users. Thus, each driver should be behind the wheel not more than 4-6 hours.
Generally, if you are not going to come from point A to point B as soon as possible, we recommend you not to be in a hurry. A driver should not act like a supersonic fighter pilot in combat. His passengers should have a chance to peacefully watch the scenery behind the window or sleep. Moreover, fuel consumption will significantly decrease if driving at great speed.
Essentials: travel arrangements, departure, and sleeping in the middle of nowhere
This is a fundamental truth. However, we should repeat it once more: finish your packing a day prior to your departure and last pack only shortlived products for a start and a bag with documents. Please, do not spend sleepless nights packing. It has no sense since you risk forgetting something. Moreover, a sleepy driver is not an option.
Decide whether you are going to shove off for a trip at night or not. Roads at night are less busy. However, oncoming vehicles may seriously strike you blind. There are fewer people in the streets, however, in the evenings, especially on the weekend, they become less visible and have poor spiral awareness. Moreover, most people prefer to sleep at night. However, sleeping behind the wheel is not only uncomfortable but also dangerous.
If you are not going to spend a night on the road, find a place to stay before it gets dark. Thus, you can easily choose a place if you want to either camp wild or stay at a hotel or campsite. In the first case, you should either join a group of trucks or pull away from the road at a smart distance. It will help you to get rid of those who cannot wait to feather your nest.
Mostly, modern cars are poorly suited for sleeping. If you are going to have more than 2-3 overnight halts, we recommend you to take a tent and an air mattress.
We hope these simple tips were useful. Do not forget to get your International Driving Permit, apart from the passport and other documents. Apply for the IDL at your convenience right on our website.