You’ve probably figured out by now that I spend a lot of time on the road. There are a great many facets to making a road trip come together and, as you can imagine, there’s a method to my madness in how I prepare for a trip.
Part of that method is breaking the process down into manageable chunks. One of those chunks is a collection of basic pre-emptive measures that don’t take a lot of effort but can make a big difference in how a trip goes when the going gets tough.
Much of this may seem like no-brainer material but when you’re in the chaos of packing, they’re easy to overlook or even dismiss as overkill. And while I actually keep some of these measures in place all of the time, I always do a double-check before a trip to make sure nothing has gone amiss.
- Pre-trip service: Routine maintenance for your adventure-mobile is crucial to maintaining performance and catching little things that can become big problems later. As much as a break-down near home is a headache, when you’re on a road trip, it can become a trip-killer and very expensive as you find yourself over a barrel, far from home, and stressed about getting back on the road.
- Spare: Always check your spare and jack tools to make sure all pieces are there and that the spare hasn’t gone flat. Just as important is actually knowing how to change the tire. Having the means to change the tire is useless if you don’t know how.
- First aid: I keep an extensive first aid kit in the car at all times but I always give it a once-over before a big trip to replenish often-used supplies like adhesive bandages as well as check expiration dates. The biggest point I can make here is that having a first aid kit is useless, and possibly harmful, if you don’t how to properly use what’s in it. Build your kit based on your current knowledge and seek out more training to build your skills.
- Glove box stash: I always keep an old wallet in the glove compartment that holds the extra stuff I don’t need to carry on a daily basis. It’s my of stash essential items like my auto registration, insurance card, and my roadside assistance info. I also carry an old driver’s license and spare credit cards. In the case of a lost wallet, having these on hand goes a long way. Without them you can find yourself quite stranded and helpless. In addition my extra little wallet, on long road trips I also carry our passports and some emergency cash in a heavy-duty waterproof pouch which stays locked in the glove compartment.
Let’s face it, no matter how much planning you do, things go wrong. These measures are really painless to put in place but go a long way when you’re in a bind on the road.
I’m sure I’ve missed some other great road trip essentials so tell me what I’ve missed. What are your go-to tactics for pre-emptive damage control?