Prep Vehicle Before Leaving On Vacation

By: Jim Champion, The Auto Guy Email
By: Jim Champion, The Auto Guy Email

Going on a road trip this summer? Here are a few tips to make sure your vacation drive goes as smoothly as possible.

Start with checking the vehicle over before you even load up. Tires, belts, hoses, wipers, fluids and brakes are just a few of the items that need to be checked out. Don’t risk a breakdown out on the road, get your vehicle inspected.

Plan your route ahead of time and check for road construction and delays on Department of Road websites. Every state will have a website and many of them even have live camera views of traffic on certain roads.

A first aid kit is always a good idea for emergencies, but things such as sun block, bug repellant, sun burn lotion, wet wipes, eye drops and other items also come in handy on the road.

Having food that’s actually good for you on board can make the trip a little more bearable. Eating lots of junk food is never a good idea, so try to include snacks such as fruits, vegetables, string cheese and nuts instead. Also, try to drink water instead of soda.

Keeping kids safe is obviously a top priority. Make sure that the car seats are installed like they should be and that the children are buckled in safely. There are lots of good websites out there for more information related to child safety and seats, including

Rest area breaks are a very important part of any happy road trip. Don’t make the rest of the crew miserable because you want to break your record for the quickest time ever to grandma’s house. Let everyone get out and stretch their legs, hit the restroom and get some fresh air. It will take a little longer, but at least you might still be talking to each other once you get to your destination.

There are apps and websites available when you are searching for good deals on gas, such as Remember that it’s usually a good idea to stop for gas in an area where there are several stations competing for your business. By the way, your best deals might be just a mile or two off the interstate as prices are sometimes higher right at the interstate interchange.

Saving gas is everyone’s priority and there are some easy ways to squeeze every extra mile out that you can. Fully inflated tires make a difference, as well as making sure that the spark plugs are in good shape. But nothing makes as much difference as avoiding aggressive driving. Stomping down on the gas pedal is the equivalent of spraying gas out of a hose. Take it easy with the gas pedal and you can put the squeeze on your vacation gas bill.

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