(Family Features) There are few better times for a road trip than during the summer months when the sun is bright and the kids are out of school. Despite the expected rise in gas prices, AAA reports 79 percent of families are planning to hit the road this year, 10 percent more than in 2016.
Whether it’s just you and your significant other or a jam-packed car, the experts at Interstate Batteries recommend taking these steps before hitting the open road:
- Have a plan. Spontaneous stops can be fun and necessary to stretch your legs, but it’s always important to be safe and prepared when traveling. Even if every detail isn’t set in stone, having a rough sketch of a plan can help make your trip more enjoyable. Also be sure to share your route with someone who isn’t going. It’s safer to have someone know where you are. Use apps to let your friends and family track your road trip or help you map your trip and provide helpful tips on expected fuel costs, upcoming rest stops and nearby restaurants. Having a plan allows you to keep your trip organized without becoming a bust if you stray a bit off course.
- Think beyond the essentials. You’ll obviously remember the necessities, such as maps, electronics chargers, snacks and pillows. Extra batteries for gadgets, portable power banks and a quality flashlight are always good to have on-hand when venturing afar, but there are other items you could be forgetting. Try to imagine every possible sticky situation and prepare accordingly. Remember to pack spare keys just in case you lock your keys in your car. Other useful items include a first-aid kit and a roadside assistance kit in the event your car breaks down. Remember that it’s better to be prepared than to find yourself in need of something you left behind.
- Get your paperwork in order. Bring your license, registration and insurance information with you. This may sound obvious, but people still forget these documents sometimes. Make sure it’s all up to date, too.
- Give your car a checkup. Perform basic maintenance on your vehicle before you hit the road, such as checking fluid levels, windshield wipers and more. Ask your technician to look at the tread on your tires and ensure your brakes are working properly. One thing you might not think of is getting your battery tested at a convenient location, like an Interstate All Battery Center, as summer heat is harder on a battery than winter cold. According to an automotive market survey, nearly 1 in 4 vehicles on the road will need a new battery this year. Most people don’t know they need a new battery until it’s already dead, and the last thing you want is to hear that dreaded “click-click-click-click” when you turn the key during any leg of your trip.
There can be a lot of planning and research put into the perfect road trip. Follow these tips to make sure you’re able to go wherever the road takes you. Find more information at InterstateBatteries.com.