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Summer is for lazy pool days, family vacations, and road trips! If you’re like the 80% of Americans who ventured out on a road trip in 2017 then you know that road trips can be a lot of fun. However, they can also be a little nerve-wracking if you’ve never taken one before. That’s why we’re here to give you a few “rules of the road” for your summer trips. Read below for a list of our top 5 tips for road trips.
• Have a “check-up” completed – It sounds unnecessary but we can’t express how important it is to take your car to a trusted mechanic and have them complete a total body inspection of your car. They will inspect all the hoses, tires, brakes, windshield wipers, and top off your fluids. The initial price of the inspection is only about $50 but can fluctuate depending on if the shop finds any problems. It’s a hassle and just adds to the never-ending list of things you need to do before you embark on your journey, but the peace of mind as you drive is well worth it.
• Submit travel plans to your bank – Can you imagine stopping to grab a bite to eat after a long day of driving and having your debit or credit card declined? Before you leave your home state, be sure to log onto your mobile banking app and submit your travel plans. This alerts your bank that any abnormal purchases in strange states are actually you and not a random credit card thief taking a joyride.
• Keep snacks at a minimum – If you’re like the rest of us then you get excited at the thought of all the snacks you can consume on your trip. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the $50 you just spent on snacks at Walmart wasn’t really worth it. Now, it is a good idea to get a few healthy options, maybe some pretzels or peanuts to munch on when you get tired, but don’t go crazy – it might just leave you feeling bloated and sluggish from the lack of activity and influx of snacks.
• Pack a case of water – We suggest taking the extra money you allotted for snacks and putting it toward a case of water. We know that some people prefer a reusable water bottle, but you never know if the truck stop is going to have a water fountain to fill up your reusable water bottle. So rather than spending $4 for 2 bottles of water at each pit stop, pack a case of water from the start and you don’t have to worry about it.
• Create a music playlist on your phone – In the age of Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora do people really create playlists anymore? Maybe not, but when you are in the middle of the desert, no matter what carrier your phone has, you’re going to lose reception and there aren’t going to be any radio stations. You’re going to be thankful you were prepared and have something to listen to.
Road trips are a great way to see the country, and they are a great bonding activity for your family. We are by no means experts in the field, but based on our experience we think these five tips and tricks will help make your trips much more enjoyable!