Tips to Get You and Your Vehicle Road Ready for Summer Travelling

Road Trip Check ListSummer is here! And for many of us, this means piling our families into the car and setting out to explore new destinations or a favorite location. Maybe you plan to go camping, attend a family reunion beachside, or just want to get out of town for a few days. When planning when and where, consider the shape and condition of your family vehicle before hitting the road.

Before you travel hundreds of miles, get your vehicle maintenance up to date, and follow this quick checklist to put your mind at ease while you drive.

• Get your vehicle serviced
If your car is due for an oil change in a couple hundred miles, get it changed before leaving on your trip. While at the mechanic, request that the attendant check your tire pressure (don’t forget air in the spare) and fill it if necessary, as well as other fluids like windshield washing fluid, coolant, and power steering fluid. This would also be an opportune time to get your A/C inspected for those hot summer days.

• Know your gas mileage ahead of time
It’s important to know how far your vehicle can travel on a tank of gas for financial planning, but also to know the limits of your car on the highway. In some parts of the U.S., there are plenty of stretches of highway with limited or no gas stations. Be aware of those zones.

• Get the GasBuddy app
Download the app before leaving on your trip. It’s easy to use and provides features like a trip cost calculator, and a gas price map for the cheapest prices. It’s also free!

• Know how long it takes to get to your destination
Will you need to split your driving time between two days? How long can your family go before needing to use the restroom or fueling up on road trip snacks? Would your itinerary require you to drive at night? Ask yourself questions like these ahead of time to know what you and your vehicle are capable of.

• Make sure all paperwork is up to date
Double check to ensure that your vehicle registration hasn’t expired or will not expire during the time of your vacation, that your car insurance is paid for and that you have current proof of insurance inside the vehicle, and that your driver’s license is still valid. Sometimes these important things slip through the cracks, but you wouldn’t want to be caught on the road without one of them.

• Check the weather, road construction, and tolls
Will bad weather impact your driving in the cities or regions you pass through? Try to estimate how weather predictions or construction could slow you down (Google Maps usually includes construction and toll roads when searching for the best route), or how high temperatures could make you groggy while behind the wheel.

A few minutes of preparation can dramatically impact your entire road trip for the better, keeping you and your family safe, hazard-free, and better prepared for more pleasant cruising.

Keep these essential items in your car

Don’t get caught needing one of these safety items on your road trip! You may need:
• Jumper cables
• First aid kit
• Gas can
• Bottled water
• Spare tire (check the air pressure) and jack
• Pack of granola bars

You may also need:
• Coins for toll roads
• Phone chargers
• Paper map (in case you have no cell service)

Plan for trunk or compartment space to accommodate these items before you pack your luggage in the vehicle.

So, what do you need to do in order to keep your vehicle safe for your road trip? Complete this checklist and you’re all set to hit the road!

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