Planning for emergencies is a topic often overlooked. In today’s technologically advanced world, it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. Though GPS-enabled phones and cars, and instant emergency services are there to help you, what happens when your phone dies or when technology fails?
There’s no need to fret. There are a few simple steps you can take to travel safer. By establishing a plan, having a back-up, and packing some extra gear, you can make your trip much safer and more enjoyable.
Having A Plan
Before leaving for your trip, make sure you have a plan. Print out directions. Let friends or family know where you intend to go and on what dates you plan to leave and return. Call ahead to hotels you plan to stay at. It’s no fun finding out at 2am that there are no open rooms.
Next, try to estimate how much gas you’ll need to get there and back. Bring spare cash and keep it separate from your spending money. Credit cards can be great for emergencies, but the machines don’t always work, and some out-of-the-way places might not even take cards.
Preparing Your Vehicle
There’s the old cliché, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In a travelling situation, it couldn’t be more true. Changing your oil before a trip might cost you twenty or thirty dollars, but that is nothing compared to the hundreds of dollars you could spend on getting your vehicle towed.
So before you leave, make sure your vehicle is up to the trip. Ensure the oil is fresh, the maintenance is up to date, and the tires are inflated properly and they match the season you plan to travel in. Also make sure that you have a spare tire and the basic equipment to change a flat.
Packing The Right Gear
Now that you’ve established a plan, it’s time to talk about some gear you should have on hand if disaster does strike. Accidents do happen. People get lost, they get flat tires, their vehicles break down, and they run out of gas. But, having the right gear can go a long way to making an overnight stay a little less scary. Hey, it could even make for some funny stories when you make it back home.
Keep some basic gear in your car to help you along. If the weather is cold, make sure you have some blankets or a sleeping bag with you. Bring a first aid kit. Have some high-energy snacks like granola bars on hand. In addition to the gear for changing a flat, think about investing in some jumper cables or a portable battery charger. If you want to go overboard, you could even have some extra belts tucked away in case one breaks.
Traveling can be a rewarding experience, and though emergencies do happen, they don’t have to ruin your trip. By planning ahead and being prepared for an emergency, you can put your mind at ease and focus on what really matters – enjoying the open road.