It’s the holiday season which, for many of us includes travel! Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, many families will load up their Hondas and venture out to spend time with friends and loved ones. Packing up all the clothes, winter gear, 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.
The Important Stuff
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 insurance cards), and any medications. Sunglasses and gloves are also items needed during a long winter drive, so make sure those are handy too. These should be stored in the glove box, center 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 mold to fit 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.
- Organizing Luggage: Pack the heaviest items as far forward as possible and in the middle of the trunk or cargo space. This keeps the center of gravity low. Then distribute the other items evenly, so that the weight is spread equally over each of the wheels. It’s important to keep the vehicle balanced, especially when adding a significant amount of extra weight.
- 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.
Roof and Hitch Storage Carriers
These are excellent options for bringing along bulky items like bikes, skis, and snowboards. They can easily double the amount of storage space in the vehicle. Be sure they are installed correctly and securely, that they do not impede your view at all while driving, or prevent access to emergency items.
Difference in Performance
It’s important to recognize that your Honda will perform differently when fully loaded. A heavier car, packed down with all the luggage, will take longer to stop. Drivers also need to be aware of height differences when a roof-top carrier is being utilized, or the larger turning radius with a tailgate rack. Additionally, these items significantly impact fuel efficiency, due to the added wind resistance, which will require more frequent gas stops along the way.
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, 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 Honda a safety check, which includes checking the fluids and tires, before departing. Our service team can also provide all the necessary inspections to ensure your Honda 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.
From all of us at Herb Chambers Honda of Seekonk, enjoy the holiday season! We wish everyone safe and happy travels.
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