How do you travel for vacation?  Many of us don’t consider it traveling for vacation unless we board an aircraft, cruise ship, or train venturing to a far off destination.  But there are times when we elect to drive a vehicle, be it to save money or to take day trips when we arrive at our vacation destination.  While I do travel a lot by air I also take several road trips a year.  When my children were growing up the majority of our vacations were destinations we drove too.  Some were a few days and others were only a few hours from home.
 Now that my children are grown and on their own, I still enjoy taking road trips.  I plan my routes to visit family, friends, and local attractions.  Taking road trips allows me to adjust my route, getting off the beaten path to search for those hidden treasures.  The treasures that are frequented by locals but unheard of by others; small town celebrations, places where you pick your own strawberries, apples, or many other different fruits or vegetables, and places where you watch granddads tell stories to intently listening children or play dominoes talking about “the good ole days”.

It doesn't matter if you’re a new age pirate wanting to chart your own course, where you are going or why you decide to drive; here are “10 TRAVEL TIPS for ROAD TRIPS” to make your journey a safe one.
  • 1.       Prepare your car thoroughly;
    • a.       Fluid levels; if your last oil change was more than 3 – 5 months ago, change your oil
    • b.      Tires, including your spare;  tread, inflation, and general condition (improves gas mileage)
    • c.       Lights; interior and exterior; make sure they all work and replace bulbs that don’t
    • d.      Air conditioner; have it serviced and checked by an AC technician
    • e.      Safety equipment; first aid kit, jumper cables, extra light bulbs and fuses, tools for minor repairs
  • 2.       Update the software on your navigation system
  • 3.        Pack a cooler with drinks and snacks (replenish with ice from the hotel and your food products from grocery stores; it’s less expensive)  
  • 4.       Check the weather along your route daily
  • 5.       Plan your travel near major metropolitan areas to avoid before and after work rush hours
  • 6.       Bring something for the children; DVDs, books, road games, snacks, and of course blankets and pillows for their naps
  • 7.       Plan your stops for the night early enough (close to hotel check-in time) so the children and adults can work off energy from sitting in a vehicle all day (attractions, pool, playground, etc)
  • 8.       Select hotels offering free breakfast and free stays for children (there is usually a maximum age)
  • 9.       Start your travel day early (as soon after breakfast as possible) to get the car interior cooled by the AC before the heat of the day
  • 10.   Drive safely
    • a.       Ensure everybody is wearing seatbelts all the time
    • b.     Turn on headlights (especially when driving in rain, fog, smoke, dusk or dawn)
    • c.       Drive using the outside lanes (in the US lanes to the right) unless passing
    • d.      Signal and look before changing lanes
    • e.      Maintain a safe speed
On vacation, whether you drove there or took another means of transportation, at some time you may get behind the steering wheel of a vehicle.  Every airline pilot, ship captain, and railway engineer inspects their equipment, plans their route, and provides creature comforts for their passengers; why don’t you do the same.

Travel Thru My Eyes, Let’s GO
Have fun – Travel safe

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