Summer has arrived, the kids are out of school, and you might be looking for a way to take advantage of your upcoming vacation time. While there are many sights to see in Los Angeles, getting out of the city and taking the family on a road trip can yield untold adventures for everyone. However, whether you travel north toward Seattle to see Puget Sound or east up Route 66, ensuring that your car is road trip ready can make your journey safe, fun, and worry-free.
1. Get a Tune-up
Getting stranded on a long stretch of desert road can make for a miserable experience, especially during the daylight hours where temperatures in Arizona and New Mexico can climb to well over 100 degrees, even in the early summer. To lower the risk, have your car checked by a local mechanic. Request an oil and air filter change, a fluid check, and a general engine tune-up. Tell your mechanic where you plan to be driving and what he or she would recommend having done to the car before you leave the city.
2. Pack an Emergency Kit
Whether you are traveling to see all the sights that San Francisco has to offer or heading from Los Angeles to historic Santa Fe, New Mexico, packing an emergency kit can help your family stay safe if you should get lost or suffer a breakdown. No matter how many miles you plan to travel, it is a good idea to include medical supplies, extra phone chargers, blankets, road flares, an emergency phone, basic tools, a flashlight, and a towing chain. You can modify your kit to suit the ages of your passengers, such as carrying extra baby formula and diapers.
As you pack your emergency kit, check your route’s and destination’s weather conditions. Pack water jugs, hoodies and rain ponchos, and other weather gear to ensure you will be properly prepared if you encounter any storms.
3. Check Your Insurance Coverage
Before you leave Los Angeles, you might want to give your insurance carrier a call to go over your policy and ensure the coverage extends beyond California. For example, if you are headed to the nation’s capital to celebrate the 4<sup>th</sup> of July, checking up on whether Washington D.C. car insurance laws differ from those you are used to may give you peace of mind during your trip. This can be especially important if you plan to have more than one family member drive out of state.
4. Secure Roadside Assistance
Before you leave L.A., you might want to ask your insurance agent if your company offers roadside assistance you can add to your policy. Many companies now offer this service for a few dollars more per month, and it can be especially helpful when you are planning a road trip. If your insurance cannot provide you with roadside assistance, you can call your local auto club and sign up. There are usually a variety of packages available, so finding one you can afford can be simple.
Whether you plan to travel up the California coast on a tour of the state’s beaches or head east to sightsee, preparing your vehicle can help you be ready for almost anything. Road trips make for great memories and family fun, so bon voyage!