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Most of us love travelling. Even those few who don’t, have to travel for work or business or to attend some occassions. Nowdays, owing to better road connectivity and much advanced & comfortable vehicles, many of us go for long drives for various purposes as cited above.
Here I will share with you various things which you should carry in your car to make your journeys trouble-free. You can carry most of this stuff in just an old medium sized duffle bag. The importance of each item varies depending on individual perspective.
It would be really great to have your valuable inputs and suggestions!!!
Must Have Things:
1. Service booklet and car manual: Many people consider it useless and don’t carry it. Ideally you should go through it atleast once. Some small tips may be very helpful when you are struck at a far-off place with no authorized service centre.
2. Documents: You should always carry all your vehicle documents in original as well as photocopies. Others like Mediclaim Card, I-Card and prescription of your eyeglasses(if you have one) should also be there with you to deal with any emergencies.
3. Notebook and Pen: To note down any important information on your way.
4. Medical Kit: Apart from the First-aid kit provided with your vehicle you should also have some basic medicines( I will list them in another post) always in your car. Those with prescription glasses should keep a spare spects in their cars.
5. Car charger: Very essential for long drives especially if you use GPS on your smartphones.
6. Bluetooth Headset: People can spend lakhs on their expensive cars but can’t spend just few thousand rupees for something which can save their lives as well as others. Please start using one if you are one of those ignorant ones.
7. Torch: To carry out minor repairs during dark if ever be needed.
8. Iron Rod: Keep a small iron rod for self defence specially if you travel during night or through some lonely patches of road. And keep it where you can reach it easily like by your seat's side i.e. between the door & your seat.
9. Music: For long drives stock enough of your favourite music to keep you engaged during the drive.
10. Cleaning cloths & Newspapers: Newspapers are best to clean your windshield and windows(newspaper ink acts as a polish for the glass).
11. Polybags & paperbags
12. Tyre puncture repair kit
13. Nylon Rope(approx. 15-20 ft.): For towing your vehicle in case of a breakdown or maybe to help others on the way. Might also come handy to tie your extra luggage.
14. Water bottle & Petrol can: Always keep atleast 1ltr water in your boot which might be used to clean your windshield or for any other purpose. Petrol can if you get your tank empty in middle of nowhere.
15. Umbrella: On long drives you may pass through different weathers and may encounter unexpected rains.
16. Turmeric powder/M-Seal: In case of an accident where your radiator develops a crack or leakage, put some turmeric powder in the radiator, it will act as a sealant. M-seal also to seal any cracks or leakage anywhere in your vehicle.
For Long Road Trips:
You may not have these all the time in your car but should not miss on long journeys atleast.
1. Duplicate keys
2. Spare cash hidden somewhere in your car
3. Food items: For long trips always carry some snacks & dry fruits. You might not always be lucky to find a good restaurant or dhaba on the highways when you need it the most. Even a plain sugar sachet is like a bliss in those times.
4. Chewing gums: To keep you engaged & awake while driving.
5. Soap: Again minor cracks or leaks can be temporarily fixed using a soap cake.
6. Good knife: To cut fruits or salads you may buy on your way. Never buy cut fruits from a vendor if you love your stomach. Knife can also be used to cut your seatbelts (if you care enough to wear them) if they get jammed during an accident.
7. Cello tape/ Duct tape: To fix any broken part or windshield or lights during an accident.
8. Air pump & pressure gauge: If you are going to travel through very desserted areas.
9. Extra toolkit: If you know to do some minor repairs yourself.
10. Extra phone: You may carry a very basic extra phone in case your main phone gets lost or stolen or just dies out. Don’t forget to save important phone numbers in that extra phone.
11. GPS Navigator: Though we have great navigation apps in our smartphones but while on highways & passing through outskirts of cities mobile network is hardly good enough to run those apps.
12. Baby seat: If you are traveling with a baby on long drives it better to have a baby seat to ensure their safety and comfort.
13. Drinking water: If your vehicle has large enough boot, carry a 20ltr bisleri jar with a dispenser to save on water bottles or atleast carry 5ltr bottles. In any case keep yourself well hydrated during those journeys.
Again many of you will find this list not so useful but believe me you will thank me if you ever get in a difficult situation ever on your trip.
You should go on that pleasure trip worry free and it is always best to be prepared for the worst.
Have a nice, safe and memorable trip….!!!!!
That is quite a comprehensive llist you have compiled!
Just to add:
1. Road side assistance or 24x& assitance numbers
2. Jot down Highway police numbers if you cant find them on Google.
Also make sure you inform your friend/relative of your destination and the route you plan to take. Even the information on the estimated time of arrival at the destination and the contact number of someone from the destination should be given.
MAke sure you got your tank filled as per the requirement and well equipped with tools to deal any kind of breakdown !!
Essentials Of A Road Trip
In my last post I mentioned things which you should carry in your car while going for long road trips.
Here I will list some important points which you should keep in mind while preparing for the trip and during your journeys to ensure safety and comfort for yourself & others on the road.
1. Get your vehicle serviced regularly but don’t just embark on a long trip right after the service. Wait for couple of days and drive in your city for those days.
2. Learn to change tyres (A lot of people don’t know) and headlight bulbs so that you may use the spare bulb provided with your car in case of an emergency.
3. Check the levels of engine oil, gear oil, brake fluid, windshield water; condition of wiper blades, lights, horn, brakes, tyres & tyre pressure (don’t forget the stepney & toolkit).
4. Properly clean your windshield and rear view mirrors before starting your journey & also in-between regularly.
5. Carry a list of authorized service stations in areas where you will be going through. Also have your car & insurance helpline numbers at hand.
6. Always have contact numbers of banks you use cards of to report any lost or stolen card immediately.
7. Get some idea of contact numbers and locations of police stations and emergency services on your way.
8. Take sufficient sleep before going for any road trip. Even the most experienced drivers need enough rest to drive safely.
9. Spare key should always be carried along while going distances away from hometown. Don’t keep that in your car. Instead have it with a lanyard around your neck (can be easily kept under your shirt and you will never lose this key) or give it to your co-passenger.
10. Keep yourself well hydrated and take regular breaks during the journey…..you are not going on a race. It would be good for you as well as your vehicle.
11. Don’t over speed….be in your limits. While we all know the speed at which we are travelling, we generally do not realise how fast we are going. As a thumb rule, when you are doing 100 kmph you are travelling about 100 feet per second, at 120 kmph you are doing about 120 feet per second. When you keep this at the back of your mind it helps to put things in perspective.
12. Try to avoid overtaking from the left side of another vehicle. If you still have to, give proper horn/signal.
13. Rear Bed: By keeping your luggage between front & rear seats and covering with a bedsheet or thin mattress you can make a full flat bed out of the rear seat for those long journeys.
14. If you drive on highways, retain the toll tickets till the end of journey. In addition to usual benefits like proof of travel it has the emergency helpline numbers usually printed on the back.
15. The rear window of a car (or any other passenger vehicle) is the weakest link, during an emergency all you have to do is to lie down on the back seat and kick the rear window out, preferably with both legs. It is designed to be opened (or kicked out) during emergencies by an adult.
16. Lastly maintain a good log of your trip. You might need it in future if you plan to visit the same place again or may be share with your friends for their trip.
Here you can note down the distances and time intervals for police stations, hospitals, fuel pumps, eating joints, highway numbers, road conditions in different patches, etc.
That is all from my side. Your inputs based on personal experiences will be highly appreciated.
Please share the post with your family and friends.
You can also see this on my personal blog https://docnikhil143.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/essentials-of-a-road-trip-3/
If possible have a Navigation system with you it will help in giving you directions, telephone numbers of the nearest hospitals, hotels, ATMs, petrol bunks etc from your present location should the need arise, it also tells you at what speed you had been traveling and at what time you will reach a particular location, Accordingly it will help you in increasing or decreasing your speed, This helps particularly when you want to reach a destination say before dusk etc
From experience of one of my colleagues: please learn to use the navigation systems in today's smartphones and keep them charged (car charger is already mentioned in the article above).
Also, if you are relying on GPS navigation system, it would be a good idea to enquire about the road conditions in advance. If like me you often take on-the-spot decisions, then too check with the local drivers about the condition of the alternate route. Twice, I have been in situations where I took a route that appeared shorter on the GPS only to find out that road condition was not worth it
MMI GPS has three options to choose, Shortest, Fastest, and Most Economical route, You should always choose the Fastest route, it gives better and broader roads as compared to the other two options
Nowdays Google Maps in mobiles shows traffic condition & time of travel very accurately, atleast in cities...
Can anyone suggest a good navigation system and a GPS locator. I want to buy it for my new Octavia which will be coming soon..!!!
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