Travel / Vacation Road Trips


Taking a Road Trip

Every year, countless people heed the call of the open road. Who doesn't often want to leave their troubles in their rearview mirror and drive off? The thought of just packing up the car and heading out of town for a trip on the "spur of the moment" is a popular one. Only problem is, many people do it a little too "spur of the moment", without enough planning - which is usually a recipe for trouble. So whether your driving the family to a vacation spot or just going solo to " get away" for a few days, try to use the following advice to have a successful road trip.

Planning Ahead

When you're planning to go on a road trip, it is a smart idea to do the following things before you leave:

Take your car to a mechanic for a general inspection and have him take care of any issues that could give you problems once you hit the road. Try to get this maintenence done a week or so before you leave to be able to drive the car and make sure the work that was done properly. Better to find out before you leave than in the middle of your trip!

Have an emergency kit in your car. Here are some important items to have in it:

first aid kit and extras of any medication you may need
bottles of water
dried food (like dried fruit, protein bars, etc)
a blanket

Make sure you have all the auto-related items you may need in the trunk in case of an emergency. These include:

a spare tire (fully inflated), tire iron and jack
A can of "fix-a-flat" tire repair
road flares/ reflective triangles to alert drivers passing buy if you have car problems at night
Extra Engine Oil
Spare Radiator Fluid
Jugs of water (in case your engine overheats)
Bottle(s) of windshield washer fluid

Check to make sure you have all your papers-including your drivers license, vehicle registration, proof of insurance and phone numbers for roadside assistance service. Also, BE SURE you have car insurance before going on any long road trip. Too many things can happen while driving, and if an accident happens and you're not insured- it can spell disaster.

Make sure someone know where you're going,when to expect you back, and how to contact you. You never know what to expect on the road, and if you encounter problems you want someone to be looking for you if need be.

Use the internet. It's a great resource to find needed information for the trip, like weather, possible construction, etc. It may be a good idea to also look up the names of some mechanics/repair shops that you would be in proximity to during your trip. You never know when you could have a car problem arise - from an engine problem to a cracked windshield. So it's a good idea to have an idea of a place you can call, rather than being stranded.


Don't tailgate. On long trips, especially, you can get tired and not be as alert as you normally would, which means your reaction time is slowed if something were to happen in front of you on the road. So keep a safe distance behind vehicles. Also, try to stay behind cars you can see around.

Bring along some music -CD's or cassettes. When driving for long distances through cities and states, many radio stations will tune in or out. It's always a good idea to bring some music along - especially something on the louder, upbeat side to help keep you alert and awake during long drives.

Try to avoid large, heavy meals. These canl bring your blood sugar down, and make you feel tired while driving. Try to eat smaller, healthier meals more often (about every 3 hours) to help keep your blood sugar in balance.

These are just a few suggestions for a safe and successful road trip.If you have any others you'd like to share,
drop us a line and let us know.

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