Kia Takes the Heat Out of Summer Driving May 15th, 2009
By Pamela Muñoz, Assistant Manager
Overseas Communication Team
For those of us located in the Northern Hemisphere, we are starting to see signs of summer. Summer can be a time of rest and relaxation for some, but for others it can mean stress behind the wheel during those long drives to the cottage with the kids (and dog!).
If you, like many others, are considering a ‘Staycation’ then the chances are you’ll end up driving to your destination. Whether you’re planning a family break, romantic retreat or some festival fun, it pays to plan ahead and follow some simple tips shared with us from Kia Motors UK to arrive feeling relaxed and ready to make the most of your big break.
Prepare, prepare, prepare!
Before setting off, it’s important to prepare the car to avoid any unnecessary delays or breakdowns on the way to the beach. Ensure your vehicle is fully-serviced (many Kia dealers around the world will offer customers a free visual health check); top up oil and water levels; check tire pressure and tread; and remember to fill up the tank.
Aside from the car itself, prepare for a comfortable and stress free trip by getting sufficient rest prior to your journey and consider sharing driving responsibilities. Think about scheduling in refreshments and comfort breaks; plan your route beforehand, designating one passenger as navigator; allow more time than you need and try to avoid traffic blackspots, perhaps taking the scenic route; make use of traffic alerts on the radio – they are a great way to keep abreast of what’s happening on the roads; and try to avoid peak times.
Caravans & RVs
If you’re among the millions who take their caravan, motor caravan or trailer tent on holiday every year then it’s vital that you take extra care to guarantee the safety of yourself and those around you.
Stick to the maximum posted speed limit on all roads, paying particular attention to the total weight of the car and caravan or trailer, including passengers and luggage (further advice on weight ratios will be found in your vehicle handbook); check the brake cables and linkages as seizing up is a common problem and causes the bearings to overheat, which may result in a serious problem; consider extended door mirrors for improved visibility; bear in mind stopping and turning times which will be considerably longer; and finally, if it’s your first time, practice in a large open space before hitting the open road.
Home away from home
Your caravan is a home away from home so put a little effort in to making it welcoming and comfortable, you never know when you may end up spending a rainy afternoon indoors. Pick up a few soft furnishings – there are plenty of shops out there offering throws, cushions and rugs at bargain prices; invest in some quality artificial flowers, they’re perfect for adding a splash of color without the risk of spills; finally, don’t forget those home comforts like a kettle and toaster. There’s nothing like a fresh brew and slice of toast in the morning to perk you up for a day in the great outdoors.
Keep them entertained
Travelling with children? Boredom, hunger, nausea and endless toilet breaks all add up to a very stressful car journey but there are many ways to ensure travel with your kids runs as smoothly as possible reducing stress and keeping kids from causing mischief in the back seat.
Ensure they make a trip to the toilet immediately before setting off; keep them entertained with a repertoire of in-car games; stock up on healthy snacks and drinks keeping hunger at bay and saving money too as service stations are usually more expensive than your local supermarket; pre-empt the inevitable ‘are we there yet?’ question by keeping them up to date on progress; and finally, think about music or even talking books – the new Kia Soul, Sportage and cee’d all have optional iPod compatibility so everyone can sing along to their hearts’ content.