Road Trips – Do’s and Don’ts
By: Good2GoPublished: June 8, 2015
Make sure your road trip is one to remember!
More Americans are taking to the roads for vacations than ever before. Some may think driving long distances has decreased in popularity when compared with the ease of trains and planes, but the allure of the open road remains appealing to many Americans. There is really no better way to see the sights America has to offer than by traveling throughout its vast network of roads (all 4 million miles of it)! Even though it may be difficult at times, try and maintain an open-mind about the trip in order to consider taking different routes that may be better, and of course, always be prepared to reroute upon approaching road work and having to follow a detour.
Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your road trip whether it’s cross-country or just to the local shore. Remember, preparedness is key!
Make sure to get your car inspected by your service station for a general maintenance check-up (i.e. check the windshield wipers, tires, oil, battery, brakes, etc.); it is important to fix any mechanical problems before the start of the vacation to ensure maximum quality time.
Make a Checklist
Once out on the open road, create and stick to a maintenance checklist to prevent breaking down in an unfamiliar place. Occasionally check your car’s tires and the tire pressure. A simple way to check your tire traction is through the quarter trick! Don’t know what that is? Easy. Just take a quarter, flip it upside down and stick it in the treads of your tire. If you can see the top of George Washington’s head, your tire’s treads are worn down and your car’s traction is compromised. If that’s the case, try to be aware of where you take your car. Maybe spend less time on unforgiving roads, like unpaved roads.
Never Hit “E”
This next one is probably very relatable. Never wait until you’re on “empty”. When the light next to the gas gauge goes on, it’s probably too late. Always refill your gas tank before the marker on the fuel gauge hits “E”. Stick to the idea that the farther out you venture, the more frequently you should fill up your gas tank, even filling it up when it’s only a third empty.
Stay within the Law
Even when out on a long stretch of desolate roadway, always comply with the law and make sure your lights are functional, as your chance of getting pulled over or getting in an accident increases greatly with a broken head or tail light.
Roadside Assistance to the Rescue!
In case you plan on traveling to a more remote destination or a long distance-drive, consider subscribing to a roadside rescue service. While your risk of ending up on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere is the same whether you have access to local roadside assistance or not, the risk ruining your trip goes up without it. Of course, the more road trips you take, the more wear you put on your car, so the more you might want to consider such a service. If you and your family enjoy traveling, but planes and trains are not for you, subscribing to a certain roadside assistance package may be the way to go. And if you never need to use it, think of the peace-of-mind you were able to have during your vacation knowing that a car break-down would only be a bump in the road.
Know Where You’re Going
Using a GPS (Global Positioning System) in your car can help you prevent the unnecessary frustration of getting lost and will also help you save on gas. If your goal is to get from point A to point B, why get lost and end up at point C if you can avoid it?
Keep it Clean
On a more psychological note, always clean your car out before departing. A clean car will help sustain your “enjoyment levels” that you had at the outset of the trip. It’s also easier to concentrate and drive carefully when your car is a comfortable and pleasant environment.
What to Bring
It is important that you bring snacks and drinks with you in case you get hungry/thirsty, as well as a first aid kit with basic bandage and antiseptic materials, sunglasses for when the glare is bad, and, obviously, any prescription medication you take: those pills are important. It can also be of great help to pack basic toiletries for extended voyages.
Get Off the Highway!
You’re on vacation; if you’re not in a hurry, go see the sights the local area has to offer. If you veer off the highway you may discover the world’s largest tire (Allen Park, MI) or the world’s largest artichoke (Castroville, CA)! Plus, a scenic route will make the trip more pleasant.
Know the Road
Anticipate any areas that may present trouble whether with poor road conditions or notorious traffic congestion. This may be harder to do, but is worth the effort if possible. Before going out on a road trip, look up which roads may be considered “trouble spots” or areas that may not be good for your car’s health.
Road trips can be lots of fun, and if you plan accordingly you can get the most out of them with the least amount of regrets and horror stories when you get back home. Having the right car insurance is one of the most important factors to keep in mind during any road trip should it be needed. Good2Go has been providing customers with reliable and inexpensive car insurance for over 25 years. If you need affordable minimum coverage, get an auto insurance quote today from Good2Go! Make sure Good2Go Car Insurance has your back during your next road trip.