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5 Things You Should Know And Do Before Your Next Road Trip

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

by Shiffa Aziz |

After months of being cooped up at home, exclamations of ‘Hey, we should go on a road trip after things get better!’ with your tight-knit group of friends, it’s finally happening!

Everyone’s checked their calendar and by some miracle, they’re all free to make this road trip a reality! An upcoming road trip is sure to fill you with excitement – after all, what better way to spend quality time with your pals than to take your car on the road?

Aside from abiding by the RMCO rules and taking precautions, it’s easy to also forget about the little things you should do to prevent a potential hindrance in your grand plan. Let’s take a look at the things you should know and do before your next road trip.

Image: Paul Tan

1. Know your vehicle inside and out

How many times have you seen cars stopped at the side of the road with their hazard lights switched on accompanied with frustrated drivers rethinking their life choices? That could be you – if you neglect to have your car checked for any problems. Take a look at your tyres for instance, are they worn out and need to be replaced? Are they pumped to the right pressure? It may seem like a nuisance now but trust me – it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here’s a few other things you should be aware about:

  • Fluid levels – are the engine oil and coolant at the correct levels respectively?

  • Battery – is it a dying battery? Do you have a set of jumper cables?

  • Brakes – are your brakes working well?

  • Air-conditioning – is it working? unless you want to be in a sweltering hot vehicle with multiple people, make sure it works!

If you want to be thorough, send your vehicle to the workshop for a maintenance check; that way you can rest assured that your vehicle is road trip friendly and is certified safe!

2. Charge your electrical devices

You’d be surprised with how many of your friends not having a charging cable with them at hand in their car. We live in a world of technology, if you don’t have the right gadgets on you, you’re going to be facing some difficulties. If you’re using your phone for directions, make sure you have a car charger and a cable, just in case your phone is the type which runs out of battery quickly. If you don’t have a car charger, the alternative is to charge up a power bank and use it sparingly. The goal here is to keep your phone alive during the road trip and to not get stranded in the middle of nowhere.

3. Be prepared for the unexpected

Obviously, you and your road trip gang have a destination in mind. You’ve installed Google Maps or Waze to guide you along the way; but have you anticipated any setbacks? We’re talking about things that could happen outside your control – accidents, closed lanes, or even bad weather which, as we know, can cause terrible jams.

Of course, there’s always a chance that you could avoid these setbacks by taking a different exit or by waiting out the jam but one thing’s for certain – you will be delayed. By taking into account this setback, you and your friends would have mentally prepared yourselves for the worst-case scenario, which also avoids any fights from breaking out between yourselves. Now isn’t that a way to kill two birds with one stone!

4. Bring along the right snacks

A road trip isn’t complete without fuel, and we’re not talking about petrol. Your friends are likely to feel hungry during the road trip, so you will need to get down to the grocery store and stock up your car with the goodies! However, keep in mind that you need to set some boundaries about the kind of food that is allowed in the vehicle. For example, if your friend insists that she needs Nasi Goreng Ayam Masak Merah, politely turn her down and suggest vehicle-friendly food such as protein bars or fruit.

Staying hydrated is important too, so get a couple of bottled water to drink. Be warned though, don’t leave the bottles in a hot car unless you like drinking plastic-contaminated water!

5. Have your license ready

Source: Malay Mail

There’s a couple of things the designated driver of the road trip needs, but the most important thing is a driver’s license. Now you might be thinking that it’s a no-brainer, obviously the driver has to have a license. But one small tiny detail may be overlooked: it’s expiry date.

In Malaysia, you can renew your license for a duration of up to 5 years, though some may choose for less. The good news here is the expiry date is your birthdate, so it’s easy enough to remember. So, if your designated driver’s birthday is coming up anytime soon, wish them a happy birthday in advance and remind them to check their license’s expiry date; you wouldn’t want this long-awaited road trip to be spoiled by a hefty fine now would you?

With all that in mind, all you need to do now is to come up with a checklist, so you don’t forget anything. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with being well-prepared – in fact, you’ll find yourself enjoying your road trip with your friends even more by eliminating any complications that could arise.

Be safe, socially distance and have fun!

You can learn more about the writer on Instagram.

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