I talk a lot about road trips on the blog. I guess it is because I take a lot of them when the weather starts to turn warm. Now that my girls are teens it is so much easier to just hop in the car and hit the road. I have also had a couple of lists for road trips but thanks to you, my readers I have another list for you! Thank you so much for sharing your tips with me!
- Make sure your vehicle is in sound working order – a cracked timing belt could be the difference between a great road trip and a hellish nightmare. Have your vehicle inspected before pulling out of the driveway; Or, do it yourself if mechanically inclined. Check the lights, directionals, wiper blades, and fluid levels and closely inspect the belts and hoses for wear and tear.
- Check that you have a fully intact car jack. A flat tire is not the time to discover you have a car jack but no lug wrench.
- Carefully examine the spare tire, ensuring that it’s fully inflated and the treads are in good condition.
- Organize an emergency kit stocked with: bottled water, first aid items (band aids, gauze pads, sterile pads), rain jacket, blanket, lightsticks or flashlight, pocket knife, and one or two energy bars. Pack only essentials. The more compact, the easier it is to store.
- Check that your mobile phone is in sound working order. Also, be aware if your provider charges roaming fees. If roaming fees are a concern, consider using a phone card.
- Carry either a road atlas or a GPS device. If you know your route, check ahead for possible construction delays. Department of Transportation websites are great sources for road information, providing construction updates, weather forecasts and sometimes live webcams.
- Peace of mind is a good thing to have on the road. Subscribe to a car club that offers roadside assistance. If your vehicle breaks down 700 miles from home, it’s comforting to have access to a list of trusted mechanics and towing companies.
- Download road apps. GasBuddy, for example, directs you to the cheapest gas prices along your route.
- If you intend on camping, call ahead and inquire about reservations. This is especially important if you’re traveling during holiday weekends.
- Anticipate rush hour traffic when traveling through major cities. Either alter your route or change your timing so as to drive through during late morning or early afternoon. Especially in LA. Rush hour is an absolute nightmare!
- Make sure you’re carrying all important driving documents: proof of car insurance, vehicle registration. and driver’s license.
- Be aware of state texting and cell phone laws. Maryland, for example, has a strict no texting, no cell phone use while driving. I know people that have gotten some hefty fines for breaking this law!
- Make sure all traffic tickets are paid. The cleaner the driving record the better for you if stopped. If you have too many you may be arrested and have your car impounded. That would definitely not be fun!
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