In a few weeks, your family is going to pack up the car and hit the open road. You know that you’ll have to prepare for this grand adventure by mapping out all of your stops, filling up your tank with gas and stocking up on delicious snacks. What else should you do? Prepare for roadside problems that could put your family road trip on hold. Find out how you can do that.
Check Your Tires:
Before you go on a long drive, you should check the air pressure in your tires. When your tires aren’t filled up properly, they are more likely to blow out while you’re driving.
At best, a blown-out tire is inconvenient. You’ll have to pull over to the shoulder of the road and replace the tire. And if you don’t happen to have a spare tire on hand, you’ll have to call up roadside assistance to come and help you with the replacement. At worst, a blown-out tire could cause a car accident. You don’t want to put your safety at risk while you’re on the road.
Check Your Other Tire:
Of course, you can still get a flat, even after checking the air pressure in your tires. You could run over something that punctures the rubber while you’re driving.
The good news is that your vehicle might have a spare tire that you can use to replace the flat! Your spare tire is usually located in the well of your vehicle’s trunk. In some cases, it may be underneath the vehicle (this is common for SUVs). Before you head out on your trip, check on your spare tire to see if it’s in good condition. You don’t want to use an expired spare tire or one that’s deflated over the years. These won’t be safe replacements.
It’s possible that you don’t have a spare tire! Some cars do not come with this backup plan. Instead, your car may have come with a tire-sealing kit. This kit will only be a short-term solution for small punctures in the tires. It will not fix already flat or blown-out tires.
If your car doesn’t have a spare, you should consider packing one in your trunk. It’s true that it will take up some precious cargo space, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re in the middle of a long road trip. And if you’ve already used up your spare tire in a separate roadside incident, you should get a replacement before you hit the road.
Pack a Roadside Emergency Kit:
There should be a roadside emergency kit in the trunk of your car. It’s meant to help you get through all sorts of roadside problems, like a dead car battery or a punctured tire. If you don’t happen to have one of these kits, you should get one as soon as possible.
These are some of the items that should be in your roadside emergency kit:
- Jumper cables
- Reflective triangles
- Tow strap
- Flashlight with batteries
- First aid kit
- Basic tool kit
- Tire sealant
You should also add some bottled water and non-perishable food items in there, in case you get stuck in a location without access to food or water during your family road trip.
Make an Emergency Fund:
You never know if you’re going to need to pay for roadside assistance, last-minute car repairs or even a temporary rental vehicle while you’re away from home. Your insurance might be able to cover some of these costs, but not all of them. So, you’ll have to be prepared to pay out of pocket. This is where an emergency fund can help you.
An emergency fund is a collection of savings that are reserved for urgent, unplanned expenses. In the case that an emergency crops up in the middle of your road trip, you can dip into your emergency fund to pay it off right away. If you don’t have an emergency fund yet, you should start building one now. Even a little bit of savings stashed away in an emergency fund is better than nothing at all.
What if you don’t have enough savings? Then, you could consider a borrowing option like an online personal loan. If you get approved for that loan, you could use the temporary funds to cover the urgent expense as quickly as possible.
The main catch of using a personal loan is that you will have to focus on a repayment plan soon after handling your emergency. If you’re impatient to tackle the loan, you can check with the provider to see whether you need to make that extra payment to speed up the process. In some cases, you might not be able to make extra payments. You’ll have to remain patient and follow the billing cycle.
So, prepare for roadside emergencies before going on your family road trip. That way, bumps in the road won’t ruin your vacation. You’ll get through them as soon as possible.