Tag Archives: Road trips

5 Tips on How to Prepare Your Car for a Road Trip

By Guest Blogger, Brigitte E., Editor at highstylelife.com

5 Tips on How to Prepare Your Car for a Road Trip

Road trips are an increasingly popular form of vacation gaining traction across the globe. In countries like Australia, the horizon of possibilities stretches far beyond what you can even imagine. Coastal trips are becoming more and more popular, attracting families, friend posies, and solo travelers. However, there are some things you might want to do before you hop in your car. Heading out in the open road unprepared is not the wisest move. You need to ensure your car is ready to endure all the trials and tribulations ahead.

Maintenance tasks

On the surface, your vehicle might appear to be fine, but do not take any chances. Carry out thorough maintenance beforehand and see to it that there are no safety concerns. Tightly secure hoses and belts. Make certain there are no cracks in the windshield. Perform a simple voltage test to check whether your battery is fit for a challenge. Scorching temperatures in the Australian outback can really build up under the hood. This is more than a minor inconvenience as it can really drain your car’s battery, especially if it is an aged one. You certainly do not want to get stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Mechanical checkup

From a mechanical standpoint, everything should work like clockwork. Breaks are a key safety component, so measure their pads and audit brake fluid level. Furthermore, inspect the filter, which constantly supplies your engine with air. While at it, look at the lights, including headlights, brake and hazard lights, blinkers, and interior lights. This prevents your visibility from being impaired on the road. Of course, should you encounter difficulties, you can call professionals to inspect the vehicle.  I hired a mobile mechanic from the Gold Coast and hit the road fully confident.

All fluids go

Cars need their fluids just like our bodies need them. Therefore, auditing their level is always high on the checklist. Those who are going on a longer road trip need to top up windshield washer, transmission, and wiper fluids. Do not overlook radiator coolant or power steering fluid either. As for antifreeze/engine coolant, it is also vital, even more so for colder destinations. Namely, chilly weather could freeze fluids in your car and lead to serious setbacks and costly repairs. Finally, see if it is time to do an oil change. We cannot stress enough the importance of having enough juice at all times.

Tire pressure and condition

Tires take the heaviest beating and they must be in tiptop shape. So, check if your tire pressure is on the level prescribed in the owner’s manual. Next, assess their condition: there should be no bulges in the sidewall. In case your tires are more than two years old, then it is recommended to examine the tread depth. Do a penny test to see how it holds up. Hold a Lincoln penny and place it head-down in one of the grooves of the tire surface. If the tread does not obscure all of Lincoln’s head on the coin, your tire is good to go.

 

Stay fresh and clean

It is also a good idea to give your car a good scrub and wipe. After all, cleaning the inside and out will ensure you have the most pleasant road experience. A good place to start is decluttering. Get all the unnecessary items out of the vehicle and make room for those you are going to need once you set off (such as an emergency kit with road flares, jumper cables, etc.). See to it there is no garbage or food residue anywhere. Vacuum the floor, clean the windows, and dust all interior surfaces. Add an air freshener to do away with bad smells.

Smooth sailing

To stay on the safe side, you should schedule an extensive checkup and maintenance.  This is an essential part of trip planning and preparation. In other words, get a closer look at what is happening under the hood. Pay close attention to things like tire pressure and fluid level. Be ready for whatever comes your way and see to it that your vehicle runs like clockwork — both you and your four-wheeled friend must be up to a task. Doing due diligence will give you peace of mind and minimize risks, even when wandering off the beating track.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

8 Ways to Keep the Kids Busy on a Long Car Ride

By Guest Blogger Adam F.

8 Ways to Keep the Kids Busy on a Long Car Ride

Mom… Dad… Are we there yet?

1-driveThat’s the question every parent who steps into a vehicles with a young child should be prepared to hear ad nauseam. But with a little preparation ahead, you should be able to keep your kids occupied, and happy and of course, quiet in the back seat of your car.

How to Keep the Kids Busy?

1.     Bring Reading Materials

Wherever you go, you should always pack a good number of reading materials for you and your children. Magazines, picture books and comics are all great options, but you should also consider hitting up sites like Audible and downloading a couple of audio books for your kids.

2.     Prepare a Kid-Friendly Playlist

You could always bring a music player loaded with a playlist filled with your children’s favorite music. However, if you want to have a wide variety of songs in your car, it would be smarter to load up a few, customized playlists on your Spotify account (or any other service you might be using).

3.     Pack a Kit

Letting your kids play and build different things with toys like LEGO is always an awesome, fun way to keep them busy, no matter where you are. While this may sound like a challenge during a long road trip, you could easily create a portable LEGO kit by putting all of the bricks in a small lunch box, for example.

4.     Scavenger Hunt Sheets

Some items you’re bound to see on any road in America, Europe or Asia, so it would be a good idea to print out some scavenger hunt sheets filled with some of those items. This will create a great game for the whole family, and if you have a young child, still unable to read, make sure to print out sheets with pictures.

2-drive5.     Play Car Games

In addition to scavenger hunts, the license plate game and the ever-classic I Spy, our could always play the simple, but fun ABC game, where you search for different items outside of the car in alphabetical order. This will engage every single member of your family, and help you pass the time.

6.     Family Friendly Movies

If you have TV screens in your car, be sure to bring a few family-friendly movies or some educational show along for the ride. Of course, if you don’t have any screens in your vehicle, you can always use a laptop, tablet or simply your phone. But if you plan on streaming their movies, make sure that you’re using a secure Express VPN to protect your private data, before you connect to a public network.

7.     Give Your Kid an Old Camera

Even though you might not be aware of it, but there are still disposable cameras out there. And while your kids are still learning how to handle a smartphone (and take pictures naturally), you should give them a disposable cam they can share. And once they start snapping photos, they’ll surely have fan throughout the trip.

8.     Buy Enough Snack and Drinks

If you’ve gone through all the above activities, your only option is to take out a few snacks and make sure that everyone has something to munch on. If you’re planning on bringing some cool items, such as sodas and ice cream, you should bring a portable cooler, filled with ice.

Ensuring Your Security

But this isn’t all about your patience and sanity, as a matter of fact, the more you’re distracted, the more unsafe you are. Because if you spend a lot of time solving fights and getting into shouting matches with your children, you’ll eventually stop paying attention to the road.

3-driveRecent studies have shown that a huge number of car accidents are associated with distracted parents. As Car Junky reports, around 25% of car crashes happen when a distracted parent is dealing with his kids in the back seat.  So in order to make sure that this doesn’t ever happen to you, you have to ensure that your kids are completely satisfied throughout the trip.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Adam, a reasonably successful web development has been publishing articles onwefollowtech.com for the last couple of years. When he is not hard at work you can find him on the basketball court or at the nearest Chinese restaurant, eating his favorite Chow Mein and reading fortune cookies.