Road trip season is upon us, and many people will head out on the open road this summer for a vacation. We all have high hopes for picture perfect vacations, but the best laid plans often don’t go our way. How do you deal with road trip mishaps when they inevitably happen?
We’ve got some tips for you today on how to handle the most common road trip mishaps. Check them out:
Getting a Flat Tire
Getting a flat is never fun. But getting one on an unfamiliar stretch of highway? That’s miserable.
The best thing you can do before you head out on your vacation is to check out your tires. Make sure your tread isn’t too worn down, and that your tires are properly inflated. It also never hurts to be prepared. Bringing along a spare tire, as well as a car jack are smart ideas if you know you’ll be on a particularly desolate trek. You might also want to brush up on your knowledge of how to change a flat tire, just in case.
If you find yourself unprepared and have a flat tire, keep an eye out for the closest gas station. You should be able to find help there. You should also program into your phone the contact information for your insurance company. Depending on your policy, you might qualify for roadside assistance.
Many people suffer from some form of motion sickness. If you or one of your passengers get car sick, that can completely derail a great road trip. This is another situation where it pays to be prepared if you know that one of your fellow travelers is prone to car sickness.
Cleaning supplies, plastic bags, and easy access to a change of clothes will make cleaning up the aftermath much easier for everyone in the car. It’s also kind to remain calm so you don’t make the sick person feel any worse than they already do.
On summer road trips, this can be a common mishap. Make sure to include an extra bottle of coolant and plenty of water when packing up your car. (You don’t want you or your car to get overheated!). If you notice your check engine light come on, the first thing you should do is turn off the A/C. While it may get a little warm for you, it’ll be better in the long run to not have to wait on the side of the road for your car to cool down. It can also help to turn on the heat in your car. This moves the hot air away from your engine.
If all else fails, pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so and turn off your car. Wait until the engine has cooled off a bit (typically around 30 minutes or so) before you open the hood. Once it’s cool, check your coolant tank for any leaks. If you find a leak, it’s time to call for reinforcements. If your coolant is low, you can top it off and get back out on the road.
Running Out of Gas
For adventure seekers, it’s not uncommon to want to go on a road trip to a place you’ve never been before. You might notice that your gas tank is getting a little low, but you probably assume that there will always be a gas station at the next exit.
If you run out of gas and aren’t anywhere near a gas or service station, you could try calling your insurance company or AAA service. There’s also an app called Honk that will deliver gas to you.
Worst case scenario, you may end up having to walk to the nearest gas station to get help. Make sure to pack comfortable shoes!
This is probably one of the most common road trip mishaps. Thankfully, with GPS being built into cars and coming standard with most smart phones, this is becoming less of an issue.
Before you hit the road, look over your route and be at least vaguely familiar with the names of the highways you’ll be on, and which direction(s) you’ll be traveling. This could save you from making a small mistake that could take you miles out of your way.
Make sure you pay attention to signs. It may even be helpful to stay in the slow lane so you won’t have to worry about getting in the way of other travelers.
Do you have any other tips for road trip mishaps? Let us know on Facebook!