As Summer is quickly approaching, and kids are done with school, vacations seem like the next logical thing to do. Nothing is better than packing the car up and the family getting away for a week. Maybe you’re driving down to the shore, or heading cross country, on average, 74% of Americans taking a vacation, plan to drive.
With the increase in people, turned road warriors, seeking relaxation, it’s best to be prepared. Here is a list of some things you can do to prepare your vehicle, fellow vacationers, and yourself.
- Plan, plan, plan!! Know the route you’re taking. If you know you’ll have an overnight stay half way there, make hotel accommodations ahead of time. Nothing is worse than driving around unfamiliar towns, and every hotel you come to states “NO VACANCY”. Lastly, make sure you plan for frequent pit stops on the way.
- Prepare your vehicle.
- Check tires (including the spare). Make sure they are properly inflated. Proper air pressure provides better gas mileage
- Check under the hood. Make sure the battery, hoses, belts, and fluids all look good. If you’re like most people (including me), you might not be sure exactly what you’re looking for, so it might be a smart to have your mechanic do a once over.
- Make sure you have an Emergency Roadside Kit. There are a lot of moving parts in the car, which means there’s a lot that can go wrong. Jumper cables, a flash light, and bottled water are just a few things that can help.
- This one is for people traveling with children. Playing “Eye Spy”, and singing the wheels on the bus get old, REALLY quick, so make sure the little people are entertained. Books, toys, movies, and snacks help keep children occupied. You want to make sure the driver isn’t distracted, by having to look back and threaten to “turn this car around”!
- Don’t push it. Driving is tedious, and boring. It’s easy to become sleepy, and fatigued. Sharing the driving with other passengers helps with this. Make sure you take time to pull over. There’s not much that can get you re-focused more than that first good stretch when getting out of the car, and some fresh air.
- For those of you who are bringing your pets. Make sure they are secured. You do not want the family dog jumping around the car while heading down I-95. You also do not want to end up like Clark Griswold.
While all of these are important, enjoying your vacation, relaxing and having fun is right up there with them. After all, what’s the point of doing all that driving if there isn’t a beach to play on, a theme park to enjoy, or a Grandma to visit!