Road Trip Traveling Tips

road travel tips

Are You Ready For A Road Trip?

Spring has sprung and traveling season is officially upon us! It isn’t a coincidence that April is Car Care Month either. It is so important to make sure your vehicle is in top condition before you venture out on a long road trip. Winters can be hard on vehicles; the inevitable road grit, the wear and tear on rubber hoses and even the wear and tear on the battery. All of these things make April the perfect month to do a little preventative maintenance and inspect your vehicle’s components.

One of the best things about a road trip is to enjoy the ride; roll down those windows, crank up the tunes and enjoy the open road. The last thing you want to do is get out on the highway and break down. This can usually be avoided by doing just a few preventative maintenance checks before you get going. Our website has a more complete list of what maintenance is recommended however we thought we would give you a quick overview on what needs to be done before hitting the open road.

  • Check and adjust your tire pressure and don’t forget about the spare, if it isn’t properly inflated, it could make a bad situation worse
  • Check your tread on the tires, the last thing you want to do is have a blowout
  • Check your vehicle’s fluids … oil, brake, transmission and coolant
  • Have your oil changed before you leave; long trips can put additional stress on your motor
  • Check your oil and air filters and replace as needed, they will ensure your engine runs at peak performance
  • Inspect your battery for any loose connections and make sure it is clean, tight and corrosion-free
  • Do a quick check to make sure all your lights and blinkers are working and replace any dead bulbs or fuses
  • Stock your vehicle with an emergency kit. At the very least a spare tire, flashlight, medical kit, and an up to date map
  • It might seem simple but a car wash will ensure you can see everything clearly

We love to travel as much as you do and know that getting to your destination safe and sound is the goal. Don’t gamble with your safety, if you aren’t comfortable checking your vehicle out, take it to an auto repair shop and they can run it through a complete safety checklist and make any necessary repairs to prevent you from having to deal with a breakdown on the way to your destination. Happy traveling!

For more tips on traveling with children, click here.

Experience The Grand Canyon This Winter

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Experiencing The Grand Canyon

Visiting the Grand Canyon should be on everyone’s bucket list and visiting during the winter months gives you the opportunity to enjoy lighter crowds and some spectacular scenery that is only available during the winter time. Winter weather in the Grand Canyon Park can be extremely variable, however, so dress in layers and always be prepared for cold, sun, rain or snow.

The trails along the South Rim are open all year long and you can stroll along at an easy pace along The Trail of Time, which is a 1.3 mile trail between the Yavapai Geology Museum and Verkamp’s Visitor Center. This is an award winning trail and there are signs all along the way that help you understand the geology and locate different rocks in the canyon walls. You are also able to feel the different layers of rock and attempt to find fossils as you walk along the trail. If you are the adventurous type, you can hike the Bright Angel Trail and experience dramatic climate and habitat changes as you descend from wintery mountain conditions to the arid desert conditions 4300 feet below.

The Grand Canyon is also home to several artists and from now through January 20th you can enjoy spectacular paintings of the Grand Canyon created by 26 unique artists from around the US. From December 15 – 21 composer James Romig and pianist Ashlee Mack will be visiting and performing a free concert the night of December 19th. Painter Monika Bittman will be featured December 22 – January 11 and Ekatrina Smirnova, another amazing painter is being featured from January 12 – 31.

Westwind Air Service would like to help you experience the Grand Canyon this winter. We offer tours all season long which allow you to fly to the Canyon and embark on an adventure that is sure to be as unique and unforgettable as anything you have ever done. If you are looking to experience the grandeur from the sky, we also offer a 45 minute, air only tour that will take you soaring from rim to rim, while you gaze down at the breathtaking scenery unfolding below. Give them a call and they will help you create a memorable winter adventure at one of the world’s most magnificent destinations … The Grand Canyon.

Top 4 Apps For A Better Travel Experience

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While travelling is indeed a fun filled, exhilarating and exciting experience, it is also fraught with risks and challenges, especially if one were to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with perhaps nothing of use besides a Smartphone. But this is no cause for worry since technology is always on our side and we can make best use of a worst situation through the use of gadgets, apps and technology to wriggle out of tight travel situations These are some of the apps that could be safely, conveniently and hopefully used for travel apps, either singly or in combination.

Google Maps

By far one of our most trusted maps and trackers, this is free for Android users and in mobile phones has built in GPS capability to provide street views and detailed guidance that could well plan and organize travel routes and unfamiliar terrain. This provides worldwide navigation except in some destinations where its use is blocked. Through the use of built-in devices, it is possible for Smartphone to double as compasses, gaining travelling and public transit data; gain traffic views in urban settings too and also determine longitudinal and latitudinal locations.

Google Maps for Android also has built in facility for indoor tracking, especially in shopping malls, airports and other places. This could be easily accessed on Blackberry and iPhone by navigating the phone’s web browser or by use of map widget on phone. Voice facility is also available instead of having to type instructions.

I use Google maps extensively when on safari. Brilliant app when on safari in Pilanesberg Game Reserve.

Hopstop

This is a travel mobile app which serves as navigational tool for pedestrians, bikers or those who commute by public transports like buses, ferries and trains. Through this it is possible to track subway stations and gain transit schedule. This is indeed excellent for public transportation trips and also offers taxi guides from departure to destination. This app could also be used for gaining data on hotels, restaurants, food joints or bars, and also provides city guides, perhaps unheard of in mobile navigation applications.

CoPilot GPS

Just a 2 year old app, CoPilot GPS features offline storage of navigation data and statistics, quite different from other apps that need internet connectivity or cell tower accessibility to watch maps during travels. This free app is available in most iPhones and Android systems and offers options upto three walking or driving routes, along with standardized maps. Premium versions also offer voice navigation with vocal turn-by-turn including the names of streets and so on.

Trapster

This app provides alerts for speed traps, street camera and also warns against constructional hazards that could delay travel. It also senses traffic problems and digs out inputs from the database of nearly 15 million users to provide real-time data to enhance and secure travel needs and expectations. It offers data on traffic bottlenecks, snarls, school zones, toll plazas and narrow pathways that could stall travel plans. The premium versions offers more facilities for detecting traffic hazards and other issues that could impede travel and trips and also offers ready solutions on how to overcome them.

It is always safer to have some travel apps preloaded while on travel since we do not know when this could be needed and come in handy. Please do not leave home without some kind of travel insurance apps.