Find out how adventurous you are, where to go, how to ensure you get there safely and how to do it while having the most amount of fun. But before that make sure your car is ready for the experience of a lifetime.
A bit of TLC:
Before heading off on the journey of a lifetime you need to do some easy spot checks to make sure you are safe. These simple steps will ensure you start your trip with ease and shouldn’t have any surprises along the way, other than maybe finding some single men on a road trip of their own.
If it isn’t broke don’t fix it, if you’re lucky enough to have a new car remember that you’re covered by a three year warranty, if something should go wrong. If you suspect something isn’t right, take it into your nearest dealer and ask them to check it over for you, which they should do for free, taking no cost off your road trip fund.
Do what us women do best and shop around for the best breakdown cover. You can search and find the best deal for you; it’s a price worth paying. Remember that most policies cover you and not just your car, so keep the emergency number on your phone and not just in your glove box. If you're a passenger when a friend's car breaks down, you can still use your policy.
Prevention is better than cure. By getting your car serviced regularly is the best way to avoid problems sneaking up. Modern cars need little attention between trips so by not keeping your service history up to date you will cause yourself more cost in the future, which might prevent you buying those new designer shoes you had your eye on so always remember to get checked frequently.
Getting your hands dirty isn’t something us women like to do so don’t panic this doesn’t have to be done often. Checking your windscreen wash is topped up will ensure you don’t run out at the worst moment, thanks to the Great British weather you may not need to use it often. Oil is also an essential precaution, using the dipstick located under the bonnet you can see your oil level, if low top up accordingly. Before checking your oil let your engine cool down, else you risk burning yourself on the heat generated by the engine. Finally look to see if your coolant level is ok. This is easily done as the container is usually clear with a visible line to measure the amount that should be in there. Again if low top up with water appropriately.
Feeling the pressure? That’s a good sign, check to make sure your tyres haven’t worn down too low. Worn tyres are dangerous, and under-inflated tyres cost a fortune in extra fuel, we don’t want to eat into the road trip fund, we want to be able to eat while on the road trip. The correct pressure can be found either on the inside of the petrol filler cap or in the area where the front door closes. Failing that you can look it up in your handbook. While at the tyre level you should examine the wheels/tyres to check for anything that might indicate tyre damage, which may cause wheel unbalance, steering or suspension problems or a blow out on in the middle of your journey and ruin your plans to get to that swanky hotel you booked with a relaxing spa.
Pit-stops that dont stop the fun:
Changing a tyre is something we see AA or RAC men doing by the side of the road in the pouring rain, but if you opt to do it yourself there are a few items that might make the task more bearable. Old gloves will come in handy to keep your hands warm and clean, and protect your manicure from betting ruined or worse breaking a nail. An old sheet or duvet cover that no longer matches the new hot pink colour of your room will be useful to kneel on and to keep the implements you need to use dry and clean. Once the old tyre is off this sheet can be used to wrap around the old tyre to ensure your boot doesn’t get dirty. Last season’s anorak will keep you dry if it’s raining (which is inevitable in this country) and you don’t mind getting it ruined. A powerful fully-charged torch is essential for changing a tyre in the dark if there are no street lights.
Double-check you have your locking wheel nut key, which you'll need to remove the special, odd-shaped security bolts fitted to some car tyres. Practise these steps in the comfort of your own driveway, which will make it far easier if the unlikely event takes place for real.
If you follow these simple guidelines then you should be ready to set off on your fun filled road trip. Grab your directions, Music, food, camera and be on your way in comfort and of course style.
- K.J.N -