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6 Tips to Plan the Perfect Road Trip

6 Tips to Plan the Perfect Road Trip - An image of a highway with a scenic background of trees and a blue, cloudy sky.

With summer just around the corner, we at GoAuto Insurance know that you’re ready to kick your summer vacation into gear.

According to research from July of 2021 from TripIt, “82 percent of Americans traveled this summer, while 98 percent plan to do so in the year ahead.” Of that percentage, 73% used their car for road tripping instead of flying.

After nearly three years of living during a global pandemic, we understand how important it is to finally take those road trips you’ve been waiting on for years. Before driving off into the sunset, we have a few suggestions as to how to make sure that you and your vehicle are ready for the perfect road trip.

1) Plan Ahead to Save Gas & Maximize Your Trip

Even if you want a spur of the moment road trip, that still requires some planning. According to a survey in Travelport’s “2018 Digital Traveler Survey,” trends in the U.S. indicate that mobile devices are as vital for leisure travel as for other aspects of everyday life. Nearly two-thirds of travelers rely on mobile apps for their road trips.

Not only will planning ahead and creating a list of the destinations you want to visit help save money on gas, but it’ll also ensure that you get to see everything and more on your drive.

Make sure to prioritize your route around construction, fuel stops, food breaks, and other interests that you may have along the way. Prioritizing the must-have stops will ensure that you’re set for success.

Instead of speeding quickly through areas to get to your destination, remember that the road trip itself is half the fun. Keeping your drive times lower means that you can be more spontaneous on your road trip and see historical landmarks dotting the way to your destination.

While you’re traveling, remember that service in remote areas can be spotty, so it’s important to always have a backup road map with you so that you don’t get lost and run out of gas.

Staying prepared, planning ahead, but also remembering that the road trip is one of the most enjoyable parts will allow you to get the fullest experience out of your trip without breaking the bank.

2) Prep Your Car

It’s important to make sure you prep your car so you’re ready for your road trip. By checking to make sure you’re up to date with car maintenance, you’ll ensure that you have a safe and worry-free trip.

When was the last time you checked your tires? The first thing you’ll want to check is that your tire pressure is up to par. The easiest way to do this is to check with a tire pressure gauge and compare it to the recommended pressure on your driver’s side door. When adding air to your tires, try not to overfill to accommodate for increasing temps. You should also check the tread on your tires by doing the penny test. For the penny test, take a penny so that Lincoln’s head is pointing down into the tread and see if the top of his head disappears between the ribs of your tire. If you can see his entire head, that means it might be time to replace your tire because the tread is no longer deep enough.

While you’re checking your car, remember to top off the fluids to make sure that your vehicle is prepared and ready to go. All you have to do is simply pop the hood and check your vehicle’s fluids as needed. The most important ones that you can check yourself are your oil, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid. Once you top those fluids off, make sure to stash the extra bottles in your car so you’re ready in an emergency.

If you don’t trust yourself to top off your oil or don’t remember the last time you got an oil change, then make sure to take it to the shop so you don’t damage your engine. Putting more miles on your car without the proper amount of oil is a surefire way to ruin your road trip.

Another good reminder is to check your lights and replace your wiper blades. Both are typically forgotten before embarking on a journey, but it’s easy to check by seeing the reflection of the lights to ensure that they’re 100% working. Bringing an extra pair of wiper blades, especially if you don’t think yours are ready to be replaced, will also help prepare you for situations that might hinder visibility on the road.

3)Get Your Car to the Shop for Basic Fixes

After self-checking your car, it’s always wise to take it to the shop to make sure that you’re up to date on all parts of your car. Tell them you’re planning a road trip and request that they check your spark plugs, battery, and air filters. If you have any lights on in your car suggesting that something needs maintenance, ask them to fix that too. Make sure that you replace anything that your mechanic tells you to rather than putting off any repairs for a later date. Listen to your mechanic if he says that you might have any potential car problems, as this will help minimize any added stress on your trip.

Also, make sure that your engine and brakes are checked because you can’t drive anywhere safely without both of those being in tip-top shape.

4)Clean & Stock Your Car

In the midst of preparing for your trip, don’t forget that an important element for enjoyment is having a clean environment. Cleaning your car out before the trip and making sure that you know where all your extra fluids and blades are will help avert any crisis.

Make sure you stock your car with trash bags, entertainment, extra jackets, blankets, reusable water bottles, and enough snacks for the road. This will ease the need for stops as well as prioritize the exact places that you want to pull over.

By planning your route ahead of time, staying on the course so you avoid excess driving and backtracking, and having your car clean and stocked, you’ll be navigating your way to your destination with the only worry being whether you should pull over for another photo.

5) Create a Road Trip Budget

The best way to begin preparing for a road trip is to create a budget so you’re saving money rather than spending it on unnecessary expenses. By sticking with a budget, you can eliminate unnecessary costs and control your spending.

While driving to your destination allows you to be spontaneous and see the beauty along the drive, you should still make sure that you reserve accommodations ahead of time to avoid hotels being fully booked. With the road ahead being endless, that doesn’t mean your budget is. Prepare for any expenses along the way by looking to compare how expensive food, tolls, gas, and lodging might be on the drive. For the most part, lodging should be easy to find cheap motels and vacancies, but if you’re visiting a National Park, rooms can be in high demand.

6) Make Sure Your Car is Insured

When setting out on a road trip, no one wants to consider double-checking their car insurance, but having quality, affordable insurance will help you prepare for any mishap that may happen while you’re on the road. The last and most important tip for planning the perfect road trip is making sure that your car is insured. Car insurance prices can be unnecessarily high depending on the type of car that you drive and your driving history. Instead of trying to find the best car insurance that fits your budget, we’ve done the work for you.

At GoAuto Insurance, we’re proud to be one of the car insurance companies that works with our customers and their budgets. We’re happy to talk you through policy options that fit within your budget without a commissioned agent trying to oversell you on what you don’t need. With no expensive add-ons or unnecessary policy features, we want to make sure that you’re safe and insured without breaking your budget. We’re only in the business of car insurance, so we prioritize you and your vehicle’s needs. Call us to get a quote today at 833-700-0000.

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