Having your car break down while you are on vacation is never fun, but you can use the time you are are stuck on the side of the road to get some important tasks completed. These four tasks will help keep you safe, let your friends and family know you are okay, and keep your mind off of the negative experience of having a vehicle malfunction.
Secure Yourself, Your Car, and Your Belongings
Your first priority, even before you call for roadside assistance, should be to make sure that you and your vehicle are out of danger. This means that, if possible, you should allow your car to coast to a stop on the side of the road on a stretch of road without curves. You should then proceed to set out emergency signals such as reflective markers or a white cloth.
Depending on your location and the time of year, you may want to roll up your windows and lock your doors, or keep your windows down to avoid overheating in your vehicle. If you need to leave your vehicle to call for assistance, you should remember to lock it.
Call Your Hotel to Confirm Your Reservation
Many hotels will only hold your room until early evening. If you will be late checking in, you should call your hotel to let them know you are having car trouble and confirm your reservation. If you do not think you will make it to the hotel you have currently booked, you should cancel your reservation as early as possible to get your deposit back.
If you have a smart phone, you should check for hotels near you to make a reservation at so you do not get stuck without a place to stay. If you do not have a smart phone, consider calling a friend to do this for you. Making a reservation at a hotel in the nearest town will give you time to get your vehicle repaired and get adequate rest before continuing on to your destination the following day.
Update Your Social Media Account
You might think to call your parents or significant other when you get stranded on the side of the road. However, if you posted that you were going on vacation on your social media account, other friends may also be waiting to make sure you arrive safely at your destination. A quick post about your situation can let your loved ones know that you are okay. Their responses to your post may also keep you in a good mood as opposed to getting frustrated with your break down.
If you post any personal information on your social media account, including your location or the fact that you are on vacation, it is important to limit who can see your post. This protects you and your empty home.
Tidy Your Car
Although cleaning may not be the funnest activity, it can keep you busy and allow you to cross off one more thing before you reach your destination. You can use wet wipes to clean vinyl, plastic and leather. If you have newspaper in your car, it is a great way to wipe down your windows. While you are at it, gather the trash and dirt that accumulates in your vehicle during a road trip to dispose of at the next trash can.
If you have internet service on your phone, your options for keeping amused while you wait for roadside assistance are endless, but these ideas can help you spend the time productively so that the rest of your trip is more enjoyable once you get back on the road.