Spring is in the air, and vacation times are coming. The Fort Wayne RV and Camping Show just came to the Coliseum and probably set a lot of outdoor plans and trip ideas into motion. But hold onto your hats – you’re not quite ready to go just yet.
You’ve got to be ready for all the things on a trip that can go wrong – things you can’t always control. Here are four unpredictable things that can majorly cramp your road trip and what you can do to avoid them:
Vehicle trouble is the most surefire way to stop a road trip right in its tracks. Nobody wants to be out in the Middle of Nowhere, Nebraska, with smoke billowing out from under the hood, a popped tire, and no indication of the next town’s location.
Luckily, the best solution to vehicle trouble is simple: pre-plan some maintenance. To avoid vehicle trouble on the road, do some thorough maintenance the week before your trip starts. You can do this yourself if you have the know-how; if you don’t, schedule some maintenance. This isn’t a DIY if you don’t know what a transmission is.
SimpleTire, an online tire marketer, suggests getting a thorough tune-up before any road trip. This includes checking brake pads, engine oil, windshield wipers & fluid, air filters, and more. Even if you don’t anticipate problems, it doesn’t hurt to be careful and invest in your vehicle.
In addition, since the tires themselves are about to get so much wear and tear, they deserve a little extra attention. Make sure your tires have enough tread to handle several thousand miles (if not, best replace them) and get your vehicle aligned before setting off.
Speaking of tires, don’t forget to check the weather you’ll be heading into. Snow chains may be a necessity, depending on where you are going. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared!
In addition, if you know your car has frequent trouble in one area (such as burning oil), it pays to keep the tools to fix those issues with you. Even if space is at a premium with duffel bags and coolers and tents, making sure you can stay on the road is the #1 priority.
While travel theft is a popular fear when traveling abroad, it can also happen on your good ol’ American road trip.
Thieves looking for a quick buck can see a lonely car full of goods and know that there’s a good chance that valuables lurk in those bags somewhere. One broken window and the next thing you know, your laptop, clothes, jewelry, and more is gone.
If you need to keep your things in your vehicle and leave the vehicle alone for a period of time, try to make your car look as normal as possible. Keeping the car as neat as possible can give the appearance that the car is empty, which makes it a less likely target for break-ins. Hide any indicators that devices might be in the car (chargers, accessories, etc.). Then, make sure to actually hide your valuable things before parking. Pulling coats or blankets over the objects isn’t good enough anymore – stow them beneath a seat or put them in a hard-to-see spot in the trunk.
In addition, be discriminant about where you park. Park in well-lit areas and as close to the light source (like a street light) as possible.
If you are robbed, Christine Kaaloa, in her personal blog “GrrrlTraveler”, explains that preparation is key to dealing with travel theft. If you can, make a list of your packed items (especially your valuables). This list will help you get reimbursement from insurance (if you have any) and with the police report.
File a police report as soon as the incident happens; keep a copy of that police report and any receipts for things you’ll need to replace. With these things in-hand, you’ll be better prepared to get reimbursed for those expenses through your auto or travel insurance company (depending on the situation).
Something that can sneak up on the unsuspecting traveler is a bad case of traveler’s sickness. Traveler’s sickness (aka, traveler’s diarrhea), according to the CDC, is the most common travel-related illness and can be caused by eating unfamiliar foods or foods prepared with unclean hands or water. Some destinations, such as Mexico, Central and South America, and certain countries in Asia and the Middle East, carry higher risks of transmitting traveler’s sickness.
If you anticipate going to a location where there is a significant change in hygiene or water composition, you might benefit from the following CDC precautions when choosing local foods and drinks.
In addition, it may be helpful and easier to simply bring your own food. There’s nothing more all-American than having deli-meat sandwiches out of a cooler on the side of the road for lunch. If you want to sample local fare, using websites like TripAdvisor or Yelp can help you find highly-rated and reliably safe restaurants.
Being away from home means your sleep schedule gets disrupted in almost every way, which affects your sleep hygiene and, consequently, your ability to get good-quality sleep. Without good sleep, you may not have enough energy or the best mood to enjoy the road trip you spent so much time planning.
While you should try to maintain as many habits from your regular routine as you can, there’s nothing that can ruin your night’s sleep like a cruddy mattress.
If your RV or travel vehicle needs a better mattress, you’d better get one before spring and summer, when vacation time comes a-calling. Wolf Mattresses has RV mattresses and contract mattresses for every RV need. Be sure to replace your mattress with a Wolf before it’s too late!
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3434 S. Maplecrest Rd.
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