10 Steps to a Great Holiday Road Trip

holiday road trip

The holiday season is the perfect time for a family road trip. You probably have at least a few days off from work, and combining those days with a weekend or two could give you a great extended vacation. But before you hit the road in search of adventure (or turkey), you need to make sure your vehicle is ready to roll.

Whether you are heading off to grandma’s house, enjoying a much needed family vacation or just exploring in your own backyard, you do not want to spend your holiday on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.

So before you pull out of the driveway, follow this 10 point checklist to make sure your ride is ready to make the trip.

1. Do a quick visual inspection. Look for obvious issues with the vehicle, like flat spots on the tires or obvious rust on the undercarriage.

2. Examine your wiper blades. Are your wiper blades in good shape, or are they worn and in need of replacement?

3. Check and top off your fluids. Take a few minutes to check the engine oil, transmission fluid, wiper fluid, brake fluid and other essential liquids under the hood. Top off any that are low.

4. Recheck your fluid levels to look for leaks. Wait a day or two, and then check your fluid levels again. If they are noticeably lower, you could have a leak.

5. Check the tread on your tires. You do not want to embark on a holiday road trip on bald tires, so check the tread and make sure your tires are safe and reliable.

6. Inflate the tires to the recommended pressure. Once you know the tread is good, check the air pressure and make sure it matches the manufacturer’s recommendations. Add air if needed, and take a tire gauge with you on your trip.

7. Lighten the load. You will need room in the trunk for luggage, holiday presents and other essentials, so remove anything you do not need. Removing unneeded items can also improve your fuel economy and make the spare tire easier to get to.

8. Check the spare tire. Speaking of the spare tire, make sure it is fully inflated and ready to go. Also make sure you have a working jack and lug wrench in the vehicle.

9. Pack a vehicle emergency kit. From road flares to tire patch kits, pack what you need in your emergency kit. You never know when those items will come in handy.

10. Top off the tank and download a gas savings app. Make sure your gas tank is full before you leave home, and download an app that points you to the lowest gas prices on the road.

If you are planning a holiday road trip, you are not alone. Millions of your fellow citizens will be hitting the road this holiday season, but there is still time to get ready. This 10 point checklist can help you make sure your vehicle is ready to hit the road, so you can enjoy the holiday season in confidence.

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