Be Summer Road Trip Savvy

June 29, 2018

 

 

Here we are—summer!  The days are longer, the kids don’t have a care in the world and you want to getaway.  You spend a lot of time figuring out where to go but be sure to put in equal time planning the ‘how to go’ part.  In the famous words of Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Vacation, “Why aren’t we flying? Because getting there is half the fun.” 

 

Here are a few tips to help you stay safe, focused and healthy so that not a moment of your adventure is wasted.

First, make sure your car is treated to a check-up.  Stop by your mechanic and ask for the following checks:

  • filters and oil levels

  • fluid levels, including coolant and windshield wiper fluid

  • tires inflation levels, including the spare tire

  • tire rotation if it has been more than 6 months or 7,500 miles

  • belts and hoses

  • battery and brakes

  • transmission fluid

Then you are going to need to plan your driving route.  It might be as easy as speaking into Google maps on your cell phone but take a few minutes to check the route in advance.  Also check weather conditions and road closures.  And be sure to let a trusted friend or family member know your destination and route.

 

You also have to pack your bags.  Not just your new swimsuit and that book you can’t wait to read, but also emergency supplies for your and your vehicle.  Lets’ start with the vehicle checklist:

  • jumper cables

  • spare tire (inflated), lug wrench and jack

  • tire pressure gauge and a can of compressed air

  • roadside flares

  • tool kit

  • flashlight and extra batteries

  • depending on where you are going, duct tape, rope and a tarp might be handy

When it comes to needs for you and your family, try to bring the following: 

  • first-aid kit

  • bottled water and energy bars

  • blankets

  • chapstick, body lotion and face lotion with SPF

  • hand sanitizer and wet wipes

  • plastic bags (for trash)

  • cords need to recharge the accessories through the car

  • podcasts and playlists downloaded; games at the ready

So, now you are ready to hit the open road toward your next adventurous destination.  While getting there, you should keep a few other things in mind: 

 

Staying safe on the road requires adhering to the following:

  • keep your seatbelt buckled at all times

  • mind the speed limits—for your safety and your fuel conservation

  • put the younger kids in the back seat

  • switch drivers when you are tired

  • don’t overpay for gas by choosing an exit with only 1 station and don’t wait until you are almost empty to fill up

  • bringing food can minimize snack pit stops, and you’ll probably end up eating healthier

  • take a break from the car—stop regularly and stretch

It should be no surprise that some parts of car trip are just downright boring.  But with a little preparation and mindfulness, that uneventful driving trip might just take you to the most eventful vacation spot you and your family will be talking about for years to come.

 

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