20 Quick Travel Tips

AAA Travel projects that close to 35 million Americans will hit the road over Labor Day Weekend, traveling 50 miles or more from home.  This upsurge in travel from previous years is mainly attributed to lower gas prices.  In order to make the most of this “affordable” way to travel, here are some tips to keep you safe and happy on the road.

  1. Expect road delays and traffic during holiday travel periods. Be patient and kind on the road, and know that other drivers may feel frustrated and tired, too. Listen to your favorite music or play fun car games to lighten the mood.
  2. Make sure you lock up tight before you leave. Have a neighbor or family member look after your house and bring in your mail and newspaper during your absence. If you’ll be gone for extended periods of time, hold mail and newspaper deliveries.
  3. Fully charge your cell phones before your trip. Don’t forget to bring the charger.
  4. Make sure your automobile insurance is up to date and that your license, inspections and registrations are valid before leaving home. Make sure you have proper documentation on hand.
  5. Pay attention to weather conditions which may interfere with your trip. Listen to weather and traffic reports before you journey out. Postpone your departure if necessary.
  6. Purchase a prepackaged emergency car kit that comes with warning triangles, flares and other important safety items. Should you get stranded, you’ll be thankful you did.
  7. Avoid long lines and delays by gassing up the car in advance.
  8. Tell people where you are going and how you can be reached in an emergency. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
  9. Make a budget for your road trip. Be sure to add in expenses like tolls and food stops, which can sometimes be hefty.  Utilize coupons and/or military or senior discounts whenever possible. Hotels may fill up fast over holiday weekends.  Make reservations ahead.
  10. Think about getting your state’s toll pass to bypass cash toll lines.
  11. Know where you’re going. Research directions, alternate routes, and road conditions before your trip.  Then, the night before, program your destination into your GPS.
  12. Pack emergency food provisions before you hit the road. Foods like granola bars tend to keep well.  Bring plenty of bottled water.
  13. Examine your car before you hit the road. Check air pressure in tires and amounts of windshield wiper fluid and automobile oil, etc.
  14. Pack the car ahead of time in order to properly secure necessary items.
  15. Make sure you have a car jack, spare tire, tire chains, and jumper cables. Always carry a first-aid kit and a flashlight with spare batteries.
  16. Prepare for inclement weather by packing rain ponchos, boots, gloves, warm coats, blankets, etc.
  17. Don’t forget your passport if venturing out of the country.
  18. Don’t overdo it on the road. A tired driver is a dangerous driver. Take frequent driving breaks. Believe it or not, the Highway Code recommends taking a break of 15 minutes or longer every two hours.  This allows you to change your position and cut down on driver fatigue.
  19. When traveling through questionable areas, keep your doors and windows locked. When parking, keep valuables out of sight.  Park close to your destination in a well-lit and visible location.  Always listen and look around before getting out of your vehicle.
  20. Having a road service delivers peace of mind. This is especially helpful for emergencies such as vehicles break downs. This benefit may be obtained through AMAC or possibly through your own insurance carrier. Like the old adage says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Have advice to share?  We welcome your additional tips.  Safe travels everyone!

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