With the holidays fast approaching, families will load up their vehicles and venture out to spend time with friends and loved ones. Packing up all the clothes, costumes, umbrella’s, sporting equipment, not to mention the presents, requires taking a little time and preparation to ensure a smooth and successful trip — whether it be a few hours away, or a multi-day drive.
Here are a few tips to follow to ensure safe travels.
Keep the important stuff easily accessible
Don’t bury the important stuff. Keep all the necessities and emergency items within reach and easily accessible. This includes the emergency car care kit, a cell phone and charger, your wallet (with ID and license cards), and any medications. Sunglasses are also items needed during a long drive, so make sure those are handy too. These should be stored in the glove box, centre console, or under the seats so they are quickly available.
Avoid hard-sided suitcases if space is going to be extra tight. Soft-sided duffle bags work much better, as they can squish and mould them to fit into all the nooks and crannies. A few additional tips when it comes to packing the luggage:
Overnight Bag: For multi-day road trips, pack a smaller bag with the just the essentials for the overnight pit stop. Then you only have to grab this one bag when you call it quits and break for the day. Make it the last item packed, so it’s on top and ready to go.
Small, Loose Items: Don’t forget to secure those coats, purses, or small bags that get packed last and thrown on top. A sudden stop can easily send them flying throughout the car.
Visibility: DO NOT pack to the ceiling. Obstructing the rear view for the driver is extremely dangerous. Make sure there is a clear line of sight through the rear windshield after everything is loaded.
Road Trip Essentials
For a smooth trip, don’t forget these road trip essentials:
Wipes and paper towels: To clean up dirty hands, spills, or other inevitable messes.
Snacks and drinks: Prevents unnecessary stops, keeps all the passengers happy, and when you bring your own, you have more options than what you can find in a gas station.
Activities: Have each passenger bring a small bag kept near their seat with books, toys, ipad or tablet, games and music.
Trash bag: Empty wrappers, used napkins, or spill clean ups, the trash accumulates quickly. Have a place to put the dirty stuff.
Lastly, always give your vehicle a safety check, which includes checking the fluids and tyres, before departing. Our service team @ CMH Mazda Umhlanga can also provide all the necessary inspections to ensure your vehicle is ready for those really long trips. Then once packed, check the weather and GPS options to find the best route, and give yourself plenty of time. It’s always safest to avoid rushing on the roads during the busy travel season. To book your vehicle for a service or check-up, call us on 031 502 5565 or visit www.mazdaumhlanga.co.za.
Happy and safe travels from the CMH Mazda Umhlanga Team.