10 May, 2018
Summers are a time when we perhaps travel the most as this is the time when kids have summer holidays. Holiday plans are usually made well in advance. Hence unless you plan quite ahead, this is also the toughest time to get train or bus tickets and airfares too spike because of the demand. If you were late and are feeling left out, then you can always plan a quick road trip and make a getaway!
India is connected by road from one end to the other and one can easily take a road trip to any part of India. There is also a possibility that you may be the kind who loves road trips. There are many who prefer to travel only by their own vehicle, purely for the sake of the joy of driving through the vast expanses and the wonderful experience. So, whatever your reason, if you are planning to take a road trip this summer, here are a few tips and tricks that you need to be aware of, to ensure a safe and successful road trip.
While people prefer to travel in their own vehicles, it is better to give it a thought, in case, you are thinking of really long and tough road trips. Certain vehicles may not be suitable for tough road. Research and figure out whether the roads and terrain where you are venturing out to are ok for your kind of vehicle.
The other option for those who do not own a vehicle or have only the city kind of vehicles is to hire a vehicle with a driver. Nowadays, there are also options like Zoomcar, Avis, Zipcar etc., which you can check out. Here you rent their car and drive yourself.
If you have hired vehicles, then the onus of the vehicle is with the provider, but when you take out your own, you need to get your vehicle serviced before you travel. Engine, oil, tyres, air-conditioning - everything must be in top condition before travel.
Things to carry in the boot
Being summer, if you are going on really long trips, it is always better to carry a stock of water, just in case you happen to drive through areas where you may not find safe, bottled water. The other things that you need to have are a spare tyre and tyre changing kit, a first aid kit, a flashlight, few helpline numbers of roadside assistance along those areas, a route map and an idea about the fuel pumps and restaurants along the way, and a GPS navigation system, especially if you are travelling on unfamiliar routes. Keep some rags ready for wiping the dust off the windshields and mirrors, if required.
Other tips and tricks
It is always better to avoid night driving, if you are self-driving and take proper breaks and rests as and when required. If the whole drive is only one to three hours, then perhaps, you may think of getting it done in a stretch, but otherwise, plan the breaks.
Keep the concerned people informed about your plans and current destination so that they can also track you just in case. Keep some change ready in your dashboard, in case, you are travelling on toll roads. Keep all the documents handy, as there could also be check posts, especially if you are crossing over from one state to another.
Do not blindly follow the GPS navigation as at times that can be a bit off the track, so to say. You can check with some locals at a safe place like a shop, or a city centre. It is always better not to roll down your window and talk to strangers or suspicious characters, especially in lone and deserted places; do not take chances, stay safe. Stay alert while driving, and ensure that you have a good navigator with you who can keep the journey on track. Keep a watch out for the road signs and the turns, just so you don’t miss them and have to come around and waste fuel. It goes without saying, that you could also carry a stock of snacks and fresh fruits, especially if you have grandkids along.
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