Summer time travel can be a challenge for any family, but beyond the obvious packing and preparation, the one thing that almost everyone forgets is to make sure their vehicle fluids are topped. One Georgia based Dodge dealer recommends that when you do have your oil changed, that you insist the car mechanic top off your fluids, or at least check your fluids to ensure they are ok. Nothing is worse than a car full of kids, broken down on the side of a road, because your vehicle overheated. I have been there on Christmas morning even. The fluids weren’t topped off and the car overheated in the winter. It was horrible and kinda threw a wrench in our Christmas celebrations.
When you are on the road you have to deal with some of the unexpected things like accidents around you holding up traffic and road construction. There is a joke that my family always gets stuck in road construction and that Indiana is notorious for doing it in the summer time. It seems like they are always fixing the same roads. When we were traveling one of the roads had construction and you couldn’t even tell when it was dark outside where the construction was until it was too late. Thankfully we figured it out and made it safely. I know that road construction can be a huge pain and add hours on to your trip. It’s one of those things you can’t control.
Besides making sure your fluids are topped off, make sure you get your brakes checked before any long trip. You don’t want to be going down a mountain grade and then realize you are having brake problems that can be very dangerous.
You should also have your tires checked and rotated. If you need to put air in them, do it before you leave, don’t try and get some miles under your belt. You never know when you will end up in the middle of nowhere.
Get gas where you can, don’t try and keep going especially when you have no idea where you are. On the way to New Mexico, it took us three hours to find food and we only saw two gas stations. We think that the ranches must have their own gas pumps because there was nothing for miles. Just houses and no stores. It was crazy.
Also it’s a good idea to check your emergency kit again to make sure you have battery operated fans, snacks, water, flares and anything else you might need including a first aid kit. You might find yourself in the mountains of New Mexico and your nine year old cuts his leg and needs first aid.