Vacations should be a time to kick back, relax and bask in the freedom from schedules and to-do lists. But if you start your vacation too early—before you plan, you may wind up feeling more stressed than before you left.
A Failure to Plan is a Plan for Failure!
Leaving without adequately planning for a long drive and/or time away puts you at risk for vacation disaster. If your vehicle isn’t ready for a road trip, you may spend valuable boating time waiting on the side of the road for a tow. And if you don’t take measures to prevent distracted driving, your vacation could end in even more tragic ways.
Plan for an enjoyable vacation by:
1. Make sure you have the roadside assistance necessities:
- Spare tire
- Tire iron
- Car jack
- Jumper cables
Or, better yet, have a number you can call to have roadside assistance sent to you. Many insurance companies (not just AAA) provide this service. It’s worth a quick call to your agent to inquire.
2. Know where you’re going. GPS are clever devices and have saved countless hours of wondering around unknown sections of town, but when you’re driving is not the time to be inputting your destination or plugging in your directional guide. Input your address into your GPS before you leave. If you need to redirect, pull over. Also, Google Maps may feel like archaic technology, but having a map ready in case anything happens to your GPS isn’t a bad idea.
3. Attend to regular car maintenance:
- Check your tire tread and inflation
- Check your fluid levels
- Check your lights
But don’t wait until right before you pull out of the driveway. Give yourself enough time to actually fix (or have someone else fix) these issues without cutting into your vacation time.
Taking care of these simple concerns can help ensure that you get to where you want to go and that someone will help you home if your vehicle can’t.
The point of a vacation is to get away, so why bring everything that makes you feel as if you never left?
But, there’s a practical driving-related reason for packing light, too: over packing leads to dangerous situations. Over packing a vehicle often blocks windows and mirrors, limiting your visibility…and you understand the danger of not being able to see.
Over packing can also make your vehicle’s weight exceed safe limits. While you may not notice anything besides the back end of your vehicle being a little closer to the ground, the extra weight can damage your suspension system, lessen your braking capacity, not to mention take a huge bite out of your fuel efficiency. The latter hurts your vacation spending; the former increase your risks for accidents.
Have a Happy Memorial Day Holiday!
We want you to have an enjoyable and safe holiday weekend! Take just a few minutes to plan for your travels and use commonsense when packing and driving…because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Drive safely, everyone!