Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th of July Road Trip Tips

Taking a road trip this 4th of July? According to AAA, 84% of Americans will hit the road this holiday weekend. Although this is a slight decline from the 41.1 million people that traveled in 2012, roads will still be crowded. Here are Central Collision Center’s tips to make your road trip easier:

1. Prepare your vehicle ahead of time.
There’s nothing worse than having car troubles in an unfamiliar area. Be proactive and do a routine maintenance check before you hit the road. Things to check: tire pressure, washer fluid, wiper blades, oil and lights (headlights, taillights and turn signal).

2. Plan your stops.
Instead of stopping at the first gas station you see, use the free app GasBuddy to plan your stops for gas. GasBuddy finds the cheapest gas near you. The app can also find the cheapest gas by city or zip code. Bonus: you earn rewards for reporting gas prices.

3. Prepare snacks ahead of time.
Bring a variety of snacks to eliminate unnecessary stops and unhealthy purchases. Pack snacks that will travel well and will please all of your travelers. Some healthy suggestions include granola bars, pre-cut vegetables and hummus, string cheese and trail mix. Granola bars, hummus and nuts are packed with protein, which will keep your travelers fuller longer.

4. Clean as you go.
Don’t wait until you’re packing up to come home to clean your car out. Make cleaning easy by giving each row of seats its own garbage can. Place a small garbage or grocery bag in a plastic tupperware container to make mini garbage cans. The container traps smells and is easy to empty each time you stop for gas.

5. Bring in-car entertainment.
Keeping children entertained is key to a successful road trip. Instead of relying on iPads and other electronics, create interactive games. For example, give each of your children a map to decorate as you travel. Each child can draw his or her favorite site for each state. At the end of the trip, each child's map will be different. Bonus: the maps make great keepsakes and cute additions to photo albums of the trip.

Courtesy of Chicago Tribune

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