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Classes are done for a week and the open road is calling. But before jumping off in the car to celebrate spring break, make sure you pack these essential items.
Before going out on a road trip, get the car in order. Nothing is worse than breaking down on the road. A full tune-up is ideal, but that can be expensive. At the very least, get an oil change to make sure the engine will be running smoothly. However, in case there is some road trouble, bring a toolbox and make sure the doughnut tire isn’t flat.
Kali Gajewski, a 21-year-old senior communication major, said that sometimes giving the car a rest can help avoid breakdowns.
“One time we were driving through Death Valley and because it was so hot, we had to get out and spray the brakes with water,” Gajewski said. “It was so hot [the water] boiled.”
If you want to play it safe, get an AAA membership for roadside assistance. Basic memberships start at $73, according to the AAA website.
It sounds like an obvious item for a road trip, but it’s easier to forget than one might think.
Chris Nie, a 19-year-old aerospace engineer major, said he learned about the importance of gas on his last road trip. After passing the last service station for miles, Nie said, the driver realized the car was on empty.
“We hadn’t seen a car for miles and all the exits kept saying, ‘No Service,’” Nie said. “We literally rolled into a gas station…it was on empty for, like 30 miles. We made sure to fill it up that time.”
In the digital age, there are GPS’s and Google directions, but batteries can die and wireless Internet connections can fade. An updated, old-fashioned, 2-D map is good to have in case technology fails on the road.
Ryan Miller, a 21-year-old senior anthropology major, said he thought it was a good idea to map out the journey before leaving.
“Have a plan, not just, ‘we’ll let the phone GPS get us there,’” Miller said.
Driving is hard work and while there are plenty of truck stops off the interstate, the meal costs start to add up. For the cravings in between stops, keep munchies close at hand. Stay away from messy snacks and try to choose dry treats, like chips, granola bars or beef jerky to keep the mess to a minimum.
Mac Crawford, a 22-year-old senior civil engineering major, said he likes snacks that please each palate.
“Something sweet and something salty,” Crawford said. “Like Teddy Grahams and Bugles.”
Let’s face it, aimless conversation isn’t going to fill the long hours of driving ahead. Plug in the iPod, pump up the volume and stay awake with a special road trip playlist.
Some students said a playlist sets the mood for the journey.
“Last time when I went to California, I made [a playlist],” Nie said. “I put a lot of California-[type] music on it.”
At the end of the day, a road trip is supposed to be fun, so why not share the adventure with some friends?
Due to the long hours in close proximity, Nie said he thinks it’s important to travel with close friends.
“You need good company, you need to be tight with the people you go with,” Nie said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Rose Heaphy at Josephine.email@example.com.