Ideally, you will start preparing for your next road trip before leaving home. Whether you are going to be away from home for a couple of days, a week or a month, it’s critical to take steps to ensure your safety throughout the entire trip. Let’s take a look at some specific actions that can be taken to ensure that you get to enjoy your time away from home.
Review Your Renters Insurance Policy
Typically, a renters insurance policy will cover the cost of replacing any items that are lost or stolen while on a road trip. This may be true whether the items were lost by an airline or stolen from your apartment while you were away from home. If you are renting a home to stay in after arriving at your destination, it may be in your best interest to obtain a temporary policy that lasts for the duration of your stay.
Doing so may make it easier to obtain a refund of any costs associated with the trip in the event that your plans change for any reason. In the United States, a renters insurance policy can be obtained for as little as $12 a month.
Review Your Car Insurance Policy
Prior to leaving on a road trip, it is in your best interest to thoroughly review your vehicle insurance policy. This can be a good idea whether you’re driving your own vehicle or renting a car for your next trip. In many cases, the policy that covers your primary vehicle can be used to cover a rental car as well. If you booked a rental car with a credit card, the credit card company may offer vehicle insurance or other ways to protect yourself financially.
Take Your Car for an Inspection
Driving a car that has worn brake pads, bald tires or lights that don’t work can be a threat to your safety. This is because such a vehicle will likely have trouble stopping in a timely manner regardless of road conditions. If the lights don’t work, you may not be able to see a person, object or animal in your path before it’s too late to take evasive action.
An inspection may also reveal problems with the battery, starter or other electrical components that may not be obvious when you start the car. It isn’t uncommon for a battery to die even if it was strong enough to start your vehicle only a few hours before the problem occurred.
Review Your Health Insurance Policy
Your health insurance provider may charge higher rates if you seek treatment outside of their care network. In some cases, your health insurance policy won’t cover any medical expenses that you incur while traveling in another state or country. These expenses may include the cost of riding in an ambulance, staying in a hospital overnight or undergoing an emergency procedure.
There is also a chance that you’ll have to pay for a trip to an urgent care facility out of your own pocket. If you have any questions about what your coverage, it may be a good idea to speak with your insurance provider directly. It’s worth noting that travel insurance policies may reimburse you for any medical costs that are incurred while on vacation.
Make Sure That You’ve Received All Necessary Vaccinations
If you are traveling internationally, you may need to show proof of immunity from a variety of different illnesses. In some cases, you may need to receive booster shots to ensure that you are sufficiently protected from diseases such as measles, malaria or other illnesses that may still thrive in less developed nations. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine may also make it easier to obtain permission to travel outside of your home country.
Scan Your Social Media Feeds for Information That Could Reveal Your Whereabouts
Criminals may use information that they see on social media sites to determine which homes are the easiest to break into any given time. Therefore, as a safety precaution, it may be in your best interest to refrain from posting information about your upcoming road trip to any of your social profiles. It may also be in your best interest to turn off any apps on your phone that might be able to track your location. Doing so may help to ensure that only people who you trust will know that you aren’t home and that your property isn’t being guarded.
Check the Weather Report
Checking the weather report can help you decide what you’ll need to pack for your upcoming road trip. If you’re traveling to the mountains, it will likely be a good idea to pack a sweatshirt, jacket or other warm clothing even if you’re traveling there during the summer months. This is because the air tends to be cooler at higher elevations, which means that shirts and a t-shirt might not be enough to keep you warm overnight.
If you’re planning on being outside during your trip, you should check to see if there is any severe weather in the forecast. In the event that severe weather is predicted, it may be worthwhile to postpone your trip or opt for indoor activities during your stay.
Pack a Road Trip Emergency Kit
You can’t predict when an emergency situation will occur while on vacation. However, you can prepare for one prior to leaving the comfort and safety of your home. At a minimum, you should have a cellphone that can be used to call for help if you’re stranded in a remote location.
Furthermore, you should pack a first-aid kit that includes gauze, bandages and bug repellant. Finally, be sure that you have enough food, water and warm clothing to last for several days. Having these items may improve your chances of surviving for the several days it may take rescuers to get to your location.
You should also bring your passport, enhanced license or other documents that you’ll need to gain entry into a foreign country. In most cases, individuals traveling from the United States to Canada will need a passport or passport card. The same is typically true of those who are traveling to Mexico from the United States.
Even if you don’t need a passport to get where you are going, it’s a good idea to have some form of identification on you at all times. As a general rule, you’ll need to present identification if you’re stopped by police, need to book a hotel room or want to cash a check.
Program Your Phone Ahead of Time
Cellphone use is one of the most common causes of distracted driving, and distracted driving is one of the most common causes of automobile accidents. Programming your phone prior to leaving home ensures that you won’t be trying to get directions while also trying to keep your eye on the road.
It also means that you can use your voice to access your favorite songs, podcasts or audiobooks. While it only takes a few seconds to change the radio station, that is enough time for your vehicle to travel up to 100 yards while moving at highway speeds. Therefore, it’s important that you reduce the need to look away from the road for any reason.
If you don’t use your phone as a GPS, streaming content provider of for other legitimate purposes, it may be best to keep it out of reach. In fact, you may want to consider downloading apps that don’t allow your device to receive phone calls, text messages or other updates while the car is moving.
Get Plenty of Rest the Night Before Your Road Trip
The average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep each night to function properly during the day. According to a variety of studies, the effects of drowsy driving are similar to the effects of drunk driving. Generally speaking, drowsy drivers have a harder time processing information, remembering where they are going or maintaining their lanes.
If you try to drive on less than seven hours of rest, you could be at risk for falling asleep while your car is moving. Despite your best efforts, your body will eventually override any attempt that your brain makes to keep you awake. It’s important to note that only sleep will provide long-term relief to the negative impact fatigue can have on your mind.
Generally speaking, consuming soda, coffee or other energy drinks will only provide you with a temporary jolt of energy. Signs of fatigued driving include constant yawning, difficulty concentrating and eyelids that feel extremely heavy. If you are traveling with a companion, don’t hesitate to ask that person to drive if you can’t do so safely. If you’re traveling by yourself, pull to the side of the road for a quick nap whenever symptoms of fatigue present themselves.
A road trip can be an excellent way to escape the people and things that are causing stress in your life. Taking some time to plan your vacation before leaving home can minimize the risk of finding yourself in an emergency situation. In the event that you do find yourself in an emergency situation, your proactive efforts can make it easier to stay safe while you seek help.