Best time to go long distance driving?
You are never too old for a long distance driving trip. Do you often crave an escape from your hurly-burly of daily life and yearn to get away? Tweets and constant barrage of bad and sad world news getting you down? Want to be in charge again of your time and lifestyle? Here’s a simple answer: plan a short time away from your daily routine to charge your batteries and renew your zest for life. A road trip works wonders. A long distance drive even more. Get behind the wheel of your favourite car, choose a destination with a loved one or with friends, stretch your time and explore a peaceful or interesting part of the world. Have wheels, can travel, is your motto.
Want to be inspired?
Just gotta admire how 91 year old Miss Norma Bauerschmidt zoomed off on a long road trip across USA with her son, daughter -in-law and their dog after being told she had terminal cancer. What a fantastic attitude she and her family experienced.
“We have driven the RV nearly 13,000 miles and slept in over 75 different locations in 32 states.Miss Norma has experienced more ‘firsts’ than we can count. Big things, like riding in a hot air balloon or on a horse, to little things like getting a pedicure or having her first taste of key lime pie, oysters and fried green tomatoes. She has had her hair done by ten different stylists and has crossed the time zones 9 times (I think.)
As I said, you are never too old to try something new on a road trip. The longer you are away, the more experiences you’ll discover.
Whether you are going away for a week, month or a year, do give yourself lots of time to assess and maintain the safety of your car. Also give yourself the once over with health maintenance and checks. Nothing worse than going away suffering a toothache. Also get a haircut to avoid pesky strands blowing into your eyes down the track. Preparation, preparation, preparation is the secret to successful road trips. To get your started, here are thirteen essential car safety checks.
Thirteen basic car safety checks:
- Check all fluids; oil, grease, windscreen washers
- Renew filters; oil, fuel and air depending on your vehicle model
- Check condition and air pressures for your tyres as well as spare one.
- Know what kind of spare wheel you have. Know where to find it.
- Clean front and rear windscreens, side mirrors and the head, side and indicator lights.
- Check battery strength.
- Check fuel guage is working and is accurate.
- Know what tools you are carrying.
- Have safety items such as red triangle, high viz vests, portable light.
- Spare water and food supplies for emergency rations.
- Mobile phone charger
- Check car seat lumbar support. Is it comfortable for you?
- Know where the fuse box is and how to open and replace a fuse
Modern cars are outliving their electronic systems. Even though the engines are going strong, modern electrical systems only seem to last around ten years. This was brought home to me in an ear piercing way recently. Steering around a busy corner mid – city in my daily 13 year old runabout, the alarm horn suddenly came on without warning. The only way for me to stop the embarrassing cacophony was to turn off the engine and /or remove the relevant fuse. First I had to find a safe parking spot and ignore the huge stares of horror and anger from passing drivers and pedestrians. Then it was time to rummage through the manual to recognize the correct fuse for removal. Up goes the bonnet and trying to look as confident as possible, I soon learnt to use the ignition key’s pointed edge to flip it out. Unfortunately this particular fuse not only controlled the alarm horn but also the automatic door locking as well as internal cabin light. But at least I could continue home and then find an auto electrician to sort out the electrical fault.
For more ideas to ensure your own comfort on a long distance drive safe, do read http://www.longdistancedriving.com/2016/01/29/what-safety-items-are-secreted-in-your-car/
Apart from the physical checks of vehicle and driver, don’t forget your own mental wellbeing during the planning stages as well as on the actual long distance drive itself. Perhaps the most important skill is your spirit of enjoyment. This skill is free, always developing and you are never too old to learn it. Just think of Miss Norma Bauerschmidt
Now with either Spring or Autumn ahead of you depending on which hemisphere you live, spark up your enthusiasm for an exciting long distance drive. It is perfect driving weather; neither too hot nor too cold. So get out the maps and phone apps, check your diary and plan your next long road trip. Charge up your own batteries for life.
Until next month, safe driving.