Six Tips for a Smooth Road Trip

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It’s time to pack your bags and saddle up because everyone’s favorite long weekend is here. Memorial Day weekend is unofficially the beginning of summer, so many people take the chance to enjoy a quick road trip and some fun in the sun.

road-trip-sign

Some of us have to work on Monday, so we won’t be going anywhere, but for the rest of you, you’re probably looking for a pre-trip checklist. There are plenty out there, and not all of them are as helpful as some (like this one). To save you some time, we’ve taken the liberty of compiling our own checklist, which we offer to you as part of our commitment to this community.

Destination – First and most obvious, decide where you’re going and figure out how you’re getting there. If you’re driving, look at the route beforehand, don’t just wait until the morning you leave to punch an address into your GPS. Visualize the directions so that you don’t get lost. If you’re flying out, book your tickets well in advance, collect passports or whatever you might need, and get all that essential documentation ready.

Budgeting – Once you know where you’re headed, work up a loose budget. Factor in the cost of gas, whether you’ll be eating meals out or buying groceries, and setting aside any cash you might need for admission fees and such. It’s always safe to leave wiggle room for emergencies or other extra expenditures, so plan accordingly.

Packing – Don’t wait until the last night to pack. Do a little bit each day to minimize the chances that you’ll forget something. This will also give you plenty of opportunity to pick up things like sunscreen and beachwear (or whatever suits the needs of your trip).

Safeguarding – You’ll be gone for a few days, so you’ll want to make arrangements for someone to look after your house. Whether it’s a neighbor or a relative, just have someone keeping an eye on things and picking up your paper. You can also arrange for a pet-sitter or to have your pet boarded for the weekend if needed.

Tune Up – You probably knew this was coming, but we of course recommend that you get your car checked before heading out onto the road. Stop by and get your fluids topped off, your tires checked, and a brief inspection so that you know nothing is wrong. It’ll be worth it when you don’t wind up stranded on the side of the road when you should be building sandcastles on the beach.

Rest Up – Get enough sleep the night before. Nothing is worse than traveling while tired. It’s as much for safety as it is for comfort.

We at Leith hope this list helps you at least get in the mindset for traveling, and we wish you all safe travels on the road.

Six Tips for a Smooth Road Trip was last modified: January 26th, 2016 by Chris Leith Dodge