Road trips often involve exploring new landscapes, cultures, and types of roads, so ensuring the safety of your vehicle is just as crucial as planning your itinerary. Here are some handy tips to help you keep your car secure on your next adventure .
Get your car checked
Before embarking on your journey, schedule a thorough maintenance check for your vehicle. Pay particular attention to making sure your brakes, tires, fluids, and lights are in optimal condition to minimize the risk of breakdowns during your trip.
Research local traffic laws and customs
Different countries have their own distinct traffic laws and customs. Familiarize yourself with the local rules of the road (particularly which side you’re supposed to drive on!), speed limits, and parking regulations. This knowledge will help you confidently navigate unfamiliar territory and avoid potential fines or incidents.
Park in secure, designated areas
Choose secure parking facilities, such as well-lit and monitored parking lots or garages, especially if you're staying in urban areas. Avoid leaving your vehicle in dimly lit or isolated areas, which can be more susceptible to theft or vandalism.
Install anti-theft devices
Tools such as steering wheel locks, wheel clamps, or electronic immobilizers can all discourage potential thieves and provide an added layer of protection for your vehicle.
Keep valuables out of sight
Leaving tempting items in plain sight may attract unwanted attention and increase the risk of a break-in, so keep valuables such as laptops, cameras, and bags in the trunk or a concealed area of your vehicle.
Plan your journey in advance
Thieves may target vehicles with expensive devices on display, so try to plan your trip in advance and be cautious when using GPS or navigation systems in unfamiliar locations. If you must use a navigation device, try to keep it out of sight if possible.
Get the lowdown on local safety
Prevention is better than cure, so check travel advisories and consult local authorities or travel blogs for advice on safe routes and neighborhoods. In areas where carjackers are known to operate, keep doors locked, windows up and leave enough distance between your vehicle and the one in front to allow for a quick escape if needed.
Pack an emergency kit
It’s good practice to keep a first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, and basic tools in your vehicle anyway, but this is even more important when traveling long distances. Being prepared for unforeseen circumstances can help you handle unexpected challenges on the road, and it’s a good idea to keep some bottled water and snack bars on board just in case too.
Check your insurance
Review your car insurance policy and check it provides coverage for international travel in plenty of time before you set off. Consider purchasing additional coverage to protect against potential risks specific to where you're visiting.
Hopefully your trip will be easy and drama-free, but if you do find yourself in a dangerous situation or if your vehicle breaks down, you’ll need to be able to contact someone. Make sure your cellphone is always fully charged and connected to a good network and you can access all the apps needed for a safe journey. It’s also a good idea to stay in regular contact with people at home and keep them posted on your whereabouts. Buy or top-up your eSIM here.
By taking these simple precautions and staying vigilant, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with traveling abroad and ensure that your car remains a reliable companion throughout your adventure. Safe travels!