Summer Vacation Road Trip Preparation Tips

Posted on Jun 20, 2018

A recent AAA telephone study revealed that nearly 80 percent of U.S. families (among those participating in the survey) are planning road trips this summer, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This is an increase of more than 10 percent from the summer of 2017 despite higher gas prices.

What it means for you, is that there are likely to be more drivers on the roads during your summer vacation road trip you need to look out for. Keep these things in mind to prepare for your summer travel.

Keep an Emergency Road Kit in Your Vehicle

Not only do you want to make sure you have an emergency road kit, but you also want to make sure it’s fully stocked with the appropriate supplies in case you have an emergency while traveling. In addition to the standard equipment, like rain ponchos, extra oil, and other vital fluids for your vehicle, make sure your emergency road kit includes the following:

  • Bottled water
  • Hand cleanser/sanitizer
  • Emergency flashers or flares
  • Battery cables or a portable charger
  • Flashlights
  • First aid kit
  • Shop towels or rags
  • Non-perishable snacks

You may even want to include sunscreen in your emergency kit when traveling during the summer just as you might need to include ice scrapers, kitty litter, and blankets when traveling during winter.

Make Sure You Have an Emergency Roadside Assistance Policy

There’s only one thing that can wreck your vacation faster than having a roadside emergency. That would be to have no plan in place for taking care of things when it does. Emergency roadside assistance covers a variety of things, including:

  • Mechanical aid for minor problems
  • Lockout assistance
  • Route mapping
  • Battery assistance
  • Tire assistance – some policies will even help you change your tire as long as you provide the spare
  • Towing assistance
  • Fuel delivery when you run out of gas

Individual policies vary in coverage so make sure you not only have this valuable type of insurance cover – but also that you know what it entails.

Take Care of Vehicle Maintenance

Vehicle maintenance is a necessary part of vehicle ownership. When done correctly, it can prolong the life and usefulness of your vehicle. Routine maintenance serves another purpose as well. When you take your car in for a tune-up, inspection, and our fluid services, your mechanic can also notify you of looming problems you might wish to take care of before heading out for your summer road trip.

Specific things you want to check before your vacation include:

  • Oil
  • Transmission fluid
  • Antifreeze/coolant
  • Brake fluid
  • Battery amperages
  • Power steering fluid
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Tire pressure
  • Tire condition for all four tires
  • Air filter
  • Loose belts, hoses, or clamps
  • Check for leaks

You should also use this time to check the condition of your spare. If you do not have a full-size spare, consider investing in one. If you do, make sure it’s properly inflated and ready to go. Also, make sure you have an easily accessible jack (and all its components) before heading out of town.

Verify Your Auto Insurance Policy is Up to Date

Changes occur from year to year as do your comfort zones and risk aversion. It’s worth contacting your insurance agent to review your auto insurance policy and see if you have the amount of coverage that you’re comfortable with. This is important at all times of the year, not just when you’re going on a vacation road trip.

It takes only a few minutes to review your policy and doing so provides a great deal of peace of mind for your summer travels.

While the destination for your vacation may be first and foremost in your mind, the tips above will give you peace of mind while traveling and help you arrive at your destination safely.

If you’re headed out on a road trip this summer, consider the above preparation tips, be safe, and enjoy your travels. And, if you have any questions about auto insurance, give us a call at Otterstedt insurance Agency at 201-227-1800.

Companies We Represent. View More >