Getaways come in many forms. A getaway can be restful and relaxing, whether it involves a journey to a small island thousands of miles from home or a favourite campsite that’s just a few hours away by car.

As the world gradually emerges from a pandemic that put travel on the back burner for billions of people across the globe, people anxious to get away from home may finally feel comfortable seeking getaways that don’t involve air travel. If the open road beckons you in the months ahead, the excitement ahead can make it easy to overlook certain safety measures. The following are four easily forgotten safety measures to keep in mind as you head off for parts unknown.

Have your vehicle serviced before hitting the road.
The pandemic significantly affected people’s driving habits. Millions of people spent the pandemic working remotely, and many have continued to do so even after being vaccinated. Total driving distances fluctuated throughout the pandemic. Though driving may have increased as the pandemic wore on, it’s still a good idea for drivers to have their vehicles serviced before a road trip. Request a complete tune-up that includes an oil change, a battery check, and a tire rotation. These services and other maintenance tasks like fluid refills can reduce the likelihood of breakdowns and reveal any issues that might make driving less safe.

Determine if your vehicle is the subject of a recall.
Recalls are issued if a safety issue has been uncovered since a car hit the market. Recalls are fixed free of charge, and it’s best to look well in advance of a trip to ensure you have time to take the vehicle in for its update. Contact your local dealership.

Get used to driving with accessories on the vehicle.
Summer road trips may involve roof racks loaded with bikes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, storage units attached to rear windows, or the vehicle’s top. Drivers unaccustomed to having these attached to their vehicles should make a few trial runs so they can get acclimated. Backing up with bike racks on the back of the car can be tricky for novices, so a little practice with the bikes on the back may be helpful. Drivers who intend to tow campers also may benefit from a little pre-trip preparation.

Pack a map.
Though maps have long since fallen out of favour due to the availability of GPS, people traveling to remote areas may find their smartphone signals fading in and out as they get closer to their destinations. A map can help road trippers overcome service interruptions and arrive at their destination on time.

Happy and safe travels!