AAA says 33 million people will be hitting the road from Thursday, Aug. 30, to Monday, Sept. 3. and 85% of those traveling will go by automobile.
Are you one of them about to embark on the Great American Road Trip? If so, here are some tips to get your cars ready -and have a smoother road trip! I recently had a short road trip where something went wrong, and was inspired to prevent other road woes
1) Check your tires – including your spare tire – make sure they are full for better gas mileage. Learn how to change a tire so you are prepared if you get stuck in the middle of nowhere. Ladies – listen up! It’s not that hard to do!
I was with a girl friend when we got a flat tire… we called the Automobile Club, and all of their agents were super busy – summer tends to be busier. After an hour of waiting, my friend turned to me and sealed the deal on our friendship. “Let’s do this ourselves.” Exactly! Women feel they can’t do something like this – but you can!!
It is better to practice before you go for confidence, but your car owner’s manual explains each step, and your car should have the needed equipment – a jack, wrench to loosen and tighten the lug nuts. Here’s a link with photos : www.wikihow.com/Change-a-Tire
2) Get any funny noises checked before hitting the road. An ounce of prevention…
3) Keep a roadside emergency kit in your car – especially important if you have kids – They don’t have as much patience waiting for things to improve.
- Jumper cables
- Roadside flares
- 2 or 3 quarts of oil
- Gallon of anti-freeze
- Bottled water
- Paper towels
- Phillips-head screwdrivers, vice grips, bailing wire to secure an errant muffler and a roll of duct tape. (I am not quite sure how I would use these – gotta be honest – but most people will tell you to! I’ll stick to the tires)
- Deck of cards
3) Get some helpful apps – here are two – and please anyone suggest others if you know:
—Fuel.It ($0.99) – ****This is great if you rent a car and have to fill it up before you get to the airport. It tells you where the cheapest gas is closest to you.
–Breakdown Lane from Car Talk ($1.99) – This app locates a consumer-recommended mechanic closest to where you break down, and provides a direct phone line.
5) Join a Travel Club – AAA or Better World Club are just two with benefits. If you are visiting amusement parks, remember to ask if you get a AAA discount – on the parking as well!
6) Pay attention to car gauges, watch the road, and put your smart phone in the back seat so you aren’t tempted to text or email. Even the smallest distraction could cause a fatal accident.
Be safe and enjoy your travels! Remember some good music – after all, you are on vacation!