If you are giving a thought to a trip by vehicle then surely it will add more moments to your trip to be cherished for. The trip may last for a day or as long as your time permit. But it requires a few minutes of due attention for planning prior to starting. Planning requires minute attention to each and every aspect of your trip like starting from time and money to reaching back safely to home.
For the general planning aspect, you can visit my other blog on things to keep in mind before any driving trip and that will helpful for you. In this blog, we will discuss some prerequisite or important points to keep in my mind if you are travelling on the trip by vehicle. If you are travelling by four-wheeler then you have some options like travelling by private hired vehicle/sharing based hired vehicle or personal vehicle. We will discuss each in detail and suggestions are most welcomed by the readers.
Whenever we are planning our trip by vehicle, we have normally two options with us like travelling by four-wheeler or planning for a bike trip. Both these options are selected based on the destinations you are planning to visit and the conditions of the road to that location. So, we will discuss both the options in detail here:
1. Moving with four wheeler
First, we should discuss the plan to be made when you are moving on your trip by vehicle to the destination whether it is a four-wheeler or two-wheeler. Here again, we are having two options like we can go in our personal vehicle or can go for the renting of a taxi from service providers. Both options have their own limitations and advantages which you must keep in mind before moving.
a. Private hired vehicle:
We will discuss the planning part of your trip when you are moving on vacation with a rented vehicle from an agency in the next few paragraphs. If you have hired a four-wheeler like a taxi or a cab to complete your trip by vehicle from any travel agency/transport service provider then there are some points you must go through before boarding:
- The travel agency plays an important role in planning your trip by vehicle and the agency must be credible, authentic full proof, and registered with the government.
- The travel agency must display the Certificate of approval of recognition/renewal or extension given by MOT in the office by pasting it on a board or in a picture frame so that it is visible to a potential tourist.
- Travel agency providing drivers should have all details about the driver with them and must share the same with you.
- Vehicle details must be shared by you with your close relatives for emergency situation.
- The vehicle provided must be fully serviced and all precautions must be taken by the driver while driving.
- Check the vehicle for full in-depth insurance and not just third party insurance.
- Logistic support for the driver during travel to be discussed with the agency prior to booking like stay and food arrangements of the driver to be paid by whom.
- Taxes levied by state governments on border crossing and Toll gates must be well discussed priorly.
- If possible, compare the price for the trip from more than two travel operators.
- The physical condition of the vehicle to be checked for comfort, as once booked it is very difficult for you to negotiate with private operators for anything.
- These guidelines are subjected to change from time to time so you can go through the update by visiting the official website of India Tourism.
- The government also issues notification with respect to the approved agents in all the states of India which are in the business of offering a trip by vehicle. You must go through before booking any vehicle or approaching a travel agency by visiting the official government.
b. Personal Vehicle:
If you have decided to undertake your trip by vehicle personally, and by personal four-wheeler then various points can be taken as guidelines prior to boarding. Because travelling by personal four-wheeler has its own limitations like the safety of the vehicle during the trip and while staying at the locations. The first and foremost thing is to check the terrain and road you are going to take. If it is a mountain region you are going to explore, and you find yourself uncomfortable to drive then I must recommend you hire a professional driver for your trip. It is not only about your safety but also about the traffic problems which occur frequently in hilly towns just because of the reckless and unskilled driving of tourists. After giving a thought on all such things if you are ok with personal driving then it’s great….. let’s go for discussion in details:
Servicing of vehicle – please make sure the vehicle is serviced by an authorized service centre before going on a long trip to avoid any unnecessary breakdown and halt en route.
Detailed servicing – The vehicle must be checked for each and every part, and you must brief the service boy about your vehicle going to hilly terrain in the near future so that he can minutely check the vehicle.
Servicing history – It must be entered in the logbook so that in the event of a breakdown during the trip, it can act as a guideline for the other serviceman.
What all to check – Your vehicle must be checked for its suspension, brakes, acceleration, clutch part, engine oil, radiator, coolant, and engine performance. If you are driving an automatic vehicle then all the electronic circuits must be checked for full proofing. If possible brake pad of the vehicle must be replaced with a new one if going for hilly areas.
Documentation– Make sure that you are carrying all the related documents of the vehicle with you like Registration Card (RC), Driving License (DL), valid pollution certificate, Insurance certificate, servicing documents, or logbook of the vehicle and any other documents you feel good to carry.
Insurance – The vehicle must be insured properly and you should get your vehicle insured with a full insurance plan and not just third party insurance. Insurance is mandatory for every vehicle and it also acts as financial support for you in event of any mishap, while planning your trip by vehicle.
Accessories – Make sure that your car is fitted with a parking sensor, back view mirror, and blind-spot mirror. In addition, the fast tag must be attached to avoid long queues and traffic at toll gates. you must be in possession of some accessories in your vehicle like a Hydraulic jack, Inflator, car tool kit, towing kit, Tissue paper box, First Aid Kit, Air Purifier, Rope, Knife, Puncture repair kit, USB charger. You can additionally have an aux cable to play music from mobile. Blades of wiper must be new as in event of rain and fog it will be helpful.
Tyres – All the five tires of your vehicle including the spare one must be of the same company and same size, otherwise, it can lead to balancing and other problems in the vehicle which can be dangerous in hilly areas and during long drives. Also, carry additional nuts that are used in the tyre because if more than two nuts get detached from a tire then it becomes risky to drive.
Tyre Pressure – The air/nitrogen pressure in all four tyres must be kept at suitable limits all the times and tyres must be checked regularly after some drive. Tyres must have a maximum of 30 lbs of pressure and it should be maintained at every time. Because tyre pressure gets increment because of the long drive and over pressure can cause a problem in stabilization in the drive.
Fuel – Please keep checking your vehicle for the availability of fuel in it and also you must have information regarding nearby fuel stations in emergency and instruct the same to your driver. Make it a habit of driving the vehicle with fuel in the tank up to top-level especially while you are on a trip. If possible drive the petrol vehicle in hilly areas, as the good pickup is a requirement for mountain riding. If carrying a diesel vehicle then it must be less run. Also in a diesel vehicle, the problem of freezing fuel in tank and pump is quite common in the area of minus temperature.
Parking – You should book your accommodation/hotels having a parking facility. If a hotel is not having parking then book accommodation near the parking area so that carrying luggage don’t create a problem. But make sure that the parking facility you are going to utilise is safe and registered with the govt agencies. Your vehicle in the parking space must be safe from any physical damage as well. your complete trip by vehicle will be spoiled in the tension of safety of your vehicle if no proper parking space is found.
Going for a Bike Trip
If you are planning for a bike trip, you should have some basic limitations in mind like the safety of self and luggage, problem in carrying of luggage etc. Leaving these things apart, a biking trip has its own thrill as you can closely experience nature. So, there are some must-know facts before planning a bike trip that you should go through.
You must choose the bike according to your destination. If you are planning to visit the mountains, it is highly recommended that you should go for high power bikes. Because bikes having low power usually gets you in discomfort during driving through high peaks. All the other points related to the four-wheeler drive must be included in the checklist here as well.
Small but Effective Tips
⇒ Always give attention to basic but important points while planning your trip and check the important things to carry on a trip with you. It will be very useful for you in planning your trip by vehicle.g
⇒ Please adhere to simple but effective travel safety tips.
⇒ While planning trekking, you must go through 6 basic trekking tips.
⇒ Food and other required stuff are priced heavily at the isolated locations, hence it is recommended to carry sufficient stock.
⇒ Carry sufficient water and chocolates along in the trek to keep yourself energetic. Please keep filling your reusable water bottles from the waterfalls and streams you are going to cross during the trek. It will save your pocket and also it will save the environment in another way.
⇒ Don’t litter the place around you while at the peak or during the trekking, it is our moral duty to respect mother nature.
⇒ You must have enough cash available with you as there may be a non-availability of an ATM. Hence you should carry enough cash along with you prior.
⇒ No mobile network is available at the peak
⇒ You must carry a small travel medical kit with you on every trip to make you safe from small infections and allergies.
⇒ Try to have minimal weight in your backpack because a heavy load at the back can cause discomfort while trekking. You can go through a helpful guide to backpack for travel.
⇒Don’t throw Plastic and spoil the beauty of Hill station ( and U know Distilled water, Cold Drink Bottles are the main culprit)
⇒Please left this beauty for our next generation to enjoy as well
⇒Try to taste local foods wherever you go
⇒Be polite with serving staff
⇒If time and your will permit, please help locals collect garbage thrown over there by visitors like us so that we can plan the same destination again.
⇒Hotels can be checked online but if possible please visit Hotel personally and then only proceed for payment (especially in the Offseason). If possible book your hotel using Plastic money like Credit Card or Debit Card.
⇒Check your Hotel room for any suspicious things like Camera and all as frauds are on the peak so Don’t compromise with your personal safety.
⇒To take your Camera + additional batteries + memory cards to allow you to capture memorable moments forever without any glitches.
⇒Wherever needed please, Hire local Guides.
⇒Try to enjoy the time there and don’t just keep clicking images unnecessarily.