Common mistakes that could ruin your road trip

What’s the best way to get out of the house and spend a few days exploring the country? A road trip. It’s one of the most popular ways to travel during the summer months. The roads are clear, and the weather is suitable to travel to a new city or state with loved ones. Road trips are like the gift that keeps on giving. You get to see several destinations in one trip, be outdoors, and get in tune with things you enjoy, from the beautiful sites down to the music you listen to along the way. 

If you’re going to have a good time on your road trip, there are a few things you don’t want to overlook, beyond just using tax prep services to pay your car’s personal property tax.

road-trip

Prepare Your Car

Driving puts wear and tear on your vehicle. If your car isn’t prepared, it could leave you stranded on the side of the road or in an accident. That’s why you must take care of necessary maintenance and repairs before your trip. Car owners should get the oil and transmission fluid changed and refill antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid. Changing air filters and inspecting tire conditions should also be a priority. 

If you don’t know how to complete these tasks yourself, schedule an appointment with a mechanic. If your vehicle is old and in no condition to travel long distances, it’s best to rent a car instead. 

Check For Important Docs

Before you depart, ensure that you have the necessary documents to operate a motor vehicle. You should have a valid driver’s license, registration, and insurance card. If you don’t have any of these things, ensure that you get it taken care of in advance to avoid running into conflict. 

If you get behind the wheel and don’t have proper identification or get caught driving without proof of insurance, you could get a ticket or even have your vehicle towed. Not to mention, if you’re in an accident, you’ll need your insurance information to provide involved parties and file a claim. 

Select A Second Driver (Or Take Frequent Breaks)

If you plan on driving more than two or three hours, you should enlist a second driver. The longer you’re behind the wheel, the higher your chances are of getting into an accident. Not to mention, driving is taxing on the body. You can suffer from road fatigue or get aches and pains that reduce your driving capabilities. 

Switching seats with a responsible driver every few hours decreases the chances of that happening. If you’re planning a solo trip, then ensure that you schedule a pit stop regularly to stretch and give yourself a break. 

Secure Children Properly

Are you taking the kids with you on your road trip? If so, you must prioritize their safety. In most states, children under the age of 12 and less than 100 pounds need to be in a child safety seat. Install the appropriate car seat for your child’s age and size. Whether it’s a rear-facing car seat or a booster chair, you want to ensure there’s enough space and that it’s properly secured to the vehicle. If you don’t have enough room for the car seats, it’s best to consider another car. 

Print Directions (Or Bring A Map)

Although printed directions and maps may seem obsolete in this tech era, they come in handy for a road trip. Depending on where you’re traveling, there could be areas where there is no internet service, or the GPS system doesn’t work. Unless you want to waste time and gas wandering around, it’s best to have a backup. 

It’s the perfect time of year to hit the road and enjoy a little getaway. If you’re going to have a good time, you must prepare. Although selecting a destination, reserving a hotel, and picking activities are at the top of your list, don’t forget to complete the above tasks. Failure to do so could cause your road trip to come to an end before it ever gets started.

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About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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