An overwhelming majority of Americans are choosing to travel within the borders of the United States whereas before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, world travel was in full swing.
This is largely due to shutdowns and regulations that are still ongoing in countries around the world. Though some of these regulations have been relaxed as of 2021, many countries are still feeling the sting of the pandemic.
Thankfully, Americans have a beautiful country to travel within. American road travel has always been a favored pastime, and the road trip is often considered a rite of passage for young adults.
Whether you want to explore a new place by using rideshare services in a major city, or if you want to spread your wings, harness your adventurous spirit and hit the open road, there are a few safety tips that you should know before setting out on your adventure.
Before taking any trip, it’s essential for you to ensure that your vehicle is operating at a fully functional level. While on the open road, the last thing you’ll want to do is to get stranded on a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha. Just kidding.
Regardless of the type of vehicle you’re driving, there are several universal checks that you should perform prior to venturing out. The following checklist will ensure that your vehicle is in good working order:
- Check and change oil and filter
- Top off all fluids
- Check brake pads and discs
- Check all lights and signals
- Ensure that your wipers don’t need replacing
- Check tire tread and pressure
- Ensure your spare tire is inflated
While the above checklist will ensure that you have looked over your vehicle thoroughly, you might want to take your car to a local mechanic for a tune-up and to ensure that there aren’t any underlying problems that you might not be aware of.
Map Your Route
With all of today’s modern technological advancements of onboard and smartphone GPS, mapping a route takes no effort at all. But, knowing how to read and follow a map is a skill that will benefit you in the absence of technology.
And, there are still several dead zones across the United States where signals are weak or absent altogether. So when your GPS fails you, or a signal is lost, having map reading skills will be of good use.
If you don’t have an atlas already, it’s a good idea to purchase one and keep it in the car with you. You can follow along in your atlas as you travel across the country, and these map booklets also typically highlight interesting places along all major routes.
While you’re on the road, pick out a few points of interest from your atlas to consider checking out. It will break up the monotony of the trip, and give you something to remember about your travels.
If you’re the adventurous type, it will be hard to convince you not to take that mysterious-looking road that seems to capture your attention while you sit at a stop sign reading your map.
As a safety precaution, however, it’s best to stay on the well-traveled path in order to avoid any travel issues.
Side roads and cut-through paths might look enticing and interesting, but many of these roads aren’t well-paved, and some may be closed several miles ahead of you. In order to maintain a schedule, it’s best to stay on well-traveled roads where you’ll be able to call for help or flag down another motorist if you get stranded.
Road travel in many ways is an experience for the intrepid at heart. And it’s an exciting act to head out on a long stretch of road and end up in a place that you’ve never been to. So, keep that adventurous spirit alive and healthy, and play it safe no matter where you decide to travel to.