Marking the unofficial start of summer vacation travel, Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner. The American Automobile Association (AAA) anticipates over 34 million Americans will travel distances of 50 miles or more from home over the holiday weekend. If you will be among them, it is important to be prepared so you can arrive at your destination safely.
First, it is crucial to make sure your vehicle is properly maintained. Take your car in for service prior to your trip so you can be sure your brakes, fluid levels, windshield wipers, and tires are in top shape. Just in case, be sure you have information on roadside assistance with you in the car’s glove box while you are on the road.
Next, you will want to map your entire route in advance. On the day of the trip, be sure your GPS and/or smartphone are fully charged before you begin, and that you have appropriate car chargers that will keep them from running out of battery life while you are travelling. Use internet resources such as traffic.com and the Waze smartphone app to see where traffic may be heavy, and plan alternate routes as necessary. Generally speaking, you can avoid heavier traffic by traveling prior to 3 p.m. or after 7 p.m.
Finally, it is a good idea to pack a travel safety kit to take on the road with you. This should contain emergency road supplies
such as jumper cables, a tire pump, emergency warning flares, a battery-powered radio, candles and matches, a flashlight with extra batteries, and bottled water. You will also find it helpful to have a first aid kit on hand for minor sprains, insect bites, or cuts. This should be packed with bandages, tape, antibiotic ointment, acetaminophen, elastic wraps, antacids, anti-diarrheal medications, hydrocortisone, and disposable ice packs.