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Its high season for the highway: It’s estimated that more than 50 million Americans toured 50 miles or more leading up to the Fourth of July. That approximation was almost five percent higher than last year’s, and the highest it’s been in 10 years. If you are planning to travel this summer, the following are some road trip tip to facilitate you and your loved ones to stay safe and save money during your vacations.
Planning Beforehand – You can avoid various problems and stress while on the road by planning ahead of time and preparing your vehicle.
Paperwork: Assure the car’s registration and insurance are latest, and store the paperwork in the glove compartment.
Clean: Clean out your card to allocate more room and decrease the overall weight to better gas mileage.
Instructions: You must know your route and the distance of trip. If you are using a GPS, pre-program your endpoint’s address into the unit and ensure the GPS can find the location. Print a hard copy of the directions – both there and back in case your GPS isn’t working. It also doesn’t hurt to have a highway map of the cities you are driving through.
Supplies: Anticipate the best, but be equipped for the worst. You must pack a first aid kit, spare tire, reflective jacket, car jack, torch and fire extinguisher.
Snacks: Buy a cooler and fill it with ice, bottles of water, and healthy snacks that can be consumed easily on the road, like apples, sandwiches and bananas. This will save you more time and money while traveling. Shun junk foods and sugary drinks as this will make you tired and lethargic while driving.
Packing: You must place the bulkier things at the bottom of the trunk first, with the lighter stuff on top. Be sure all items are carefully packed and secured, so nothing can fly forward in the car in case you stop short. Keep baggage below window level for a clear line of sight out the back of the car.
Summerize Your Vehicle – Just like as you “winterize” your car for the cold weather, you need to summerize it for the hot weather. Here’s a pre-road trip vehicle checklist:
Tires: You must check to ensure that the treads are not too worn down. Driving on worn out tires is very dangerous in the summer because of the high temperature of the roads. Worn tires also mean a higher risk of hydroplaning on wet roads. Assure all four tires are filled to the right pounds/square inch – that’s 32 PSI on most mid-sized cars, but inspect the wall of the tire for your car’s right PSI. This will help tire wear and help save more on the gas consumption.
Fluids: Fill all fluids to the manufacturer’s recommended levels. If the car is due for an oil change, you must get it done before you travel. Have the engine coolant filled with 50/50 coolant – 50 percent water and 50 percent coolant. This will aid the engine run cooler and more efficiently in hot weather.
Air conditioning: Most new car’s A/C systems overflow the electrical system, which can be a full load on the alternator. Have your car electrical system checked by a mechanic.
Ensure all lights are in working order, windows are clean and the windshield wipers are working appropriately.
Gas: Fill before you leave: You never know when you may get stranded in a traffic jam with no nearby gas station.
On the Highway – The following are some common sense reminders for when you are out there on the road:
Drive the speed limit. Driving at the right or just under the posted speed limit is a smart idea for various reasons. In case something happens on the road, like a car stopping short in front of you, it will give you if you’re at the right speed limit, or under, it gives you a little more time to respond.
Never text while driving and use hands-free device if someone is talking to you on the phone. You need to avoid distractions as well as use extra care when driving through construction zones.
Safety: To elude exhaustion on the road, you must stop about every two hours to stretch and move around. If you are driving to a very far destination, you can stop a hostel at the halfway point and get some rest. Booking online in advance can save you money and reduce anxiety. As an added safety measure, you must tell a friend or relative your plans and estimate the time of arrival before you go, and inform them when you arrive to your destination.