All posts tagged road trip

Did Someone Say Road Trip?

Everybody loves a good road trip.  It’s really the chance to enjoy the journey before reaching the destination.  Who doesn’t love a good roadside attraction – World’s Largest Pistachio? Carhenge? Garden of 1,000 Buddhas? Don’t ask me twice, I’m there! 

Before you hit the road with your best pals, it’s good to know whose car you’re going to be taking and more importantly whose car you should be taking for a long road trip!

Your Car or Mine?

If you are going to volunteer “Big Red” for the long haul, make sure your car is up for it!  It’s important to take the preventative measures, so you don’t get stranded in an unfamiliar place.

First, check your fluids.  Check your oil levels and the date you’re due for your next oil change.  It is better to do this before you even take off for a road trip.  If you are close to the manufacturer’s-recommended oil-change listed, then change it.  Mobil recommends a synthetic motor oil for long distances, especially in hot weather.  This will be ideal for a summer road trip! 

Also be sure to have transmission and other motor oils checked.  Both your transmission and drive axle have their own lubricant supply. Check your owner’s manual for their change intervals. A regular oil-change shop can handle the greasy job of changing manual transmission oil and the differential oil. While they are under the car, have them give the drive-shaft U-joints and any other grease points a squirt of grease.

It is very important to have your car’s coolant system checked.  In the extreme summer temperatures, your coolant can reach as high as 250 degrees Fahrenheit, causing your car to overheat.  Nobody wants to be stuck on the side of the road to begin with, but especially during the warm summer months! In order to check your cooling system, you’ll want to check the radiator and hoses for leaks or cracks.  Be sure all of the connections are snug and before even getting under the hood, make sure your engine is cool! Once you have gone over the coolant system, you should also do a routine maintenance check-up. 

Do a quick run up the local freeway to listen for noises, feel for shakes, and watch for trouble signs in the gauges. Don’t assume everything is fine just because you drive your car every day. This is a test, not a commute, so focus on your car. Do you hear grinding or moaning from the wheels? That could be a bad wheel bearing or a worn CV joint. Does the car pull? Check for alignment problems or worn tires. Does it shimmy or squeal under braking? Might be warped rotors or worn pads. Does the brake pedal feel soft? Might mean worn pads or bad fluid. Do the headlights flicker at idle? It’s probably a loose alternator belt, a dying alternator or corroded battery terminals.

Give your brakes a few pumps to check them out!  The DMV states you should inspect your brakes if your summer includes frequent thunderstorms and rain, since wet brakes can be less responsive.  You can either refer to your owner’s manual (or your mechanic), on inspecting your brakes.  When you are having your brakes inspected, find out about the brake pads. The warmer temperatures can increase the temperature of your braking system, which can wear your pads more quickly.

If it is the choice between you or your friend’s car, you should both do the routine maintenance check up to see whose car is in better shape!  Consider checking off car maintenance items before you offer to take your car for a road trip and especially before you leave.   If Big Red starts acting up in the middle of your trip, it could potentially cause you to have to end your road trip early. 

Six Things That Can Quickly Ruin A Road Trip, And How You Can Prevent Them

Road trips are one of the best ways to enjoy the freedom of the open road and experience new places with friends and family. Whether it’s an annual family adventure or a spur-of-the-moment get-away, road trips have long been a popular choice for travelers. However, while on your way to enjoy a distant attraction, a number of unexpected predicaments can quickly ruin the fun in a road trip.

Uncertainty and getting lost

A last-minute road trip could be a recipe for disaster if you don’t follow a calculated driving route. When driving in an unfamiliar place, it’s easy to get lost. Therefore, it’s critical to have a planned destination and specified pit stops for driving breaks. Navigation and GPS technology isn’t always reliable, so it would be wise to bring a paper map and printed route directions.

Mechanical problems or a flat tire

There is nothing worse than being stranded on the side of the road. It’s important to always pack a spare tire, jumper cables, emergency road kit and flares. Furthermore, you should never plan a long road trip with a car that has had a history of mechanical problems. Consider visiting a mechanic prior to a long drive to ensure that your car can handle it.


Severe weather can easily ruin a road trip. Be sure to keep an eye on the forecast for the duration of the trip. Just in case, you should pack clothes for a variety of weather conditions, make sure your windshield wiper works, top off your windshield washer fluid and pack an ice scraper. Weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to always be prepared.


Whether you’re driving across the wide open Great Plans or through a barren desert, boredom can set in and end up making your trip miserable. Passengers should bring books, portable gaming devices and other sources of entertainment. This is especially important if you plan a road trip with young children.


Driver fatigue can set in after only a couple hours of driving. Therefore, it’s important to take breaks and change drivers if possible. Many preventable crashes are caused by driver fatigue. If you’re feeling drowsy while driving, the best thing to do is to find a rest area where you can get out of the car for a while.

Car Accident

While you may be safe and alert on the road, you can’t always predict what other drivers will do. Be sure that you always wear your seatbelt on road trips, and that you keep lose items more secure when possible to prevent injury in the event of an accident. If you do get injured on the road, be sure to speak with a lawyer. For example, Ladah’s commitment to helping people injured in Clark County can help in situations like this.

Road trips can be a great way to see the country. However, it’s important to always be prepared to face the unexpected. These tips will help ensure that your road trip is a success rather than a nightmare.

Six Must-Haves You Should Get Before Your Next Road Trip

For many families, there is nothing quite as fun as going on an extended road trip. Spending time with the people you love on the open road is a great way to bond and broaden your horizons at the same time. While road trips are usually great, they can quickly go wrong if you are not properly prepared. These are the six things you must have before you head out on your next road trip.


It may be easier to get directions from a GPS, but they do not always work. If you are traveling to remote destinations, then a GPS will probably not work at all. Since you do not want to be without directions, it is always a good idea to carry maps.

Emergency Kit

Unpredictable things are bound to happen on your road trip, so you want to be prepared. Keeping an emergency kit with you will make sure you are ready for anything. You should keep non-perishable food, warm clothing and first aid items in your emergency kit.


Every long road trip is going to have a few dull moments. Bringing movies, music and games should help keep you entertained for most of the trip. You should also be sure to have enough drinks and snacks on hand to keep you alert during long hours on the road.

Spare Keys

Losing your only pair of keys is the last thing you want to happen. It may take days for you to get some help, so you absolutely must have a spare set of keys. If two different people carry a set of keys, then you should never have to worry about being stranded.


You are going to see and do amazing things on your road trip, and the best way to capture all of your favorite moments is with a camera. Taking pictures of everything will help you remember your great trip forever. If you are trying to pack light, consider using your phone as a camera.


If you have never experienced a road trip in a RV, then you are truly missing out on a great experience. Taking a nap on a real bed or watching a movie while on the road are amazing benefits that you can only get with a RV. The extra space will also come in handy if you are traveling with several people. Whether you buy or rent an RV, it can make your vacation experience much better.

Road trips are an unforgettable experience, so you need to make the most out of your great trip. If you have these six things on your next road trip, then you should have the time of your life.

Informational credit to Fretz RV.

On the Road: How to Stay Safe on Your Next Road Trip

Road trips are great adventures. But whether you know exactly where you’re headed or are going wherever the wind takes you, there are plenty of things to keep in mind for your own safety, and that of your travel companions.

Get Your Vehicle Checked

Before you leave, have your vehicle checked for wheel bearings that may come loose, transmissions that may fail, and anything else that could break down. That way, you can repair what needs to be done before your trip, saving you a potential breakdown. A Colorado hit and run attorney says if your trip will take longer than a week, it is always a good idea to have the numbers of a few local repair places in every city you plan to visit on your journey. You should also carry a spare tire and toolbox just in case you get in a car accident in Colorado or a flat tire along route 66.

Look Like a Local

Don’t advertise your tourist status on your face or your vehicle. Looking confused with your face glued to a guidebook, and leaving a map on the dashboard of your parked car are bad ideas and will show that you are not from the area. Instead, look like a local. Walk as if you know where you are going, be confident when asking locals for information, and keep your maps and travel plans in the glove compartment.

Keep an Eye on Your Belongings

Park your car close to your hotel room where you can watch it from the window. The same goes for when you stop at a restaurant. You may feel silly asking to be reseated so you can be near the window with your car, but it is far better than having something get stolen while you’re eating. If you have valuables you can bring into your hotel room with you from the car, it is safest to keep them with you.

Find the Safest Places to Stay

If you know what cities you will be going to, book your hotels in advance and check the reviews. Don’t book a motel that seems like it’s in a bad area. Take note of any cancellation policies just in case you need to cancel a reservation during your travels. If you don’t know where you’re staying in advance, make sure the lodgings you find during your travels are safe and sanitary. If you find a small motel with a sign that says No Refund for Early Checkout, that likely means they get people leaving in the middle of the night due to unsavory conditions, and staying there may not be in your best interests.

"Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan."

Is Your Car Road Trip Ready? 3 Things to Do Before You Hit the Road

Are you planning a road trip this summer? You’ve picked your destination and the places you want to stop along the way. You’ve booked a hotel, packed your comfiest clothes, and bought a new pair of sunglasses—you are ready to hit the road. But is your car?

Make sure to do these three things before you head out.

1. Stock up on Supplies

If you encounter an emergency while you are far from home, you won’t be able to call a neighbor or family member to come to the rescue. Hopefully everything goes smoothly, but you should have the following things on hand in case bad weather leaves you stranded or your car breaks down in the middle of a desert.

  • Fully-stocked first aid kit: Remember to include bandages, antibiotic ointment, scissors and tweezers, cold/heat pack, and pain killers
  • Extra water and non-perishable food
  • Flashlight
  • Jumper Cables
  • Supplies to handle a flat or blown out tire: Bring a jack, tire iron, spare tire, and a puncture repair kit
  • Basic tools: Pack some screw drivers, pliers, wrenches, and duct tape.
  • Extra engine coolant
  • Blanket
  • Map of the area
  • Cell phone and charger

2. Make a Plan

You can’t always prevent your car from breaking down, so make sure you have a plan for emergencies. If your car leaves you stranded on the open road, do the following:

  • If possible, move your car to the side of the road. If possible, coast along the shoulder until you are away from curves in the road so that other drivers will have a clear view of your stopped vehicle.
  • For your safety, and the safety of others, alert other drivers to the fact that you are stopped by turning on your hazard lights, hanging something out of your window or popping your hood. You should also turn on your hazard lights if you are moving very slowly while looking for a safe place to pull over.
  • Call for help. If you have roadside assistance they should be able to come get you and your car. If you don’t have roadside assistance, write down the numbers tow truck companies in the area you will be visiting before you leave on your trip. If you are unable to call for help, wait patiently until a highway patrol officer drives through the area. Make sure family and friends know where you are headed, so they can alert authorities if you don’t check in with them at an expected time.

3. Check the Basics

The best way to prevent car trouble is to check your car before you leave. Be sure to check and change your oil as well as check your breaks, and suspension.

After you have a professional check for the major problems, do your own inspection. Does your air filter need to be replaced? Do you have enough windshield washer fluid? Are your tires inflated to the pressure recommended in your vehicle owner’s manual? Do the tires have enough tread left?

Once you’ve checked your car for problems, take a minute to familiarize yourself with the vehicle. If you usually use your car for commuting to and from work, it is possible you’ve never needed to turn on the high-beams, fog lights, or cruise control. Make sure you know where everything is now and can easily turn things on as needed.

Do these three things before you head out on your road trip so you can enjoy the scenery worry-free.

My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.

Lizzie was inspired to write this article by Speedy Brake and Apollo Muffler.