Memorial Day is one of the biggest travel weekends out of the year in the U.S. People are ready for the start of the summer season and looking to make the most of their PTO. A road trip is the perfect way to commemorate this American holiday and honor the individuals who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
Memorial Day Road Trip
AAA reported that last year 38 million people traveled on Memorial Day weekend. Since there are so many other travelers on the road it’s more important than ever to plan out your vacation in advance. Here are a few essential steps to take while preparing for the ultimate Memorial Day road trip.
Cover Worst Case Scenarios
No one wants to think about vacation woes before they’ve even hit the road, but the personal injury experts at Bachus & Schanker LLC say before you leave is the time to cover your bases. Too many people are completely unprepared to handle an accident on a road trip. A little planning up front can help you avoid travel accidents and recover quickly if a worst case scenario does occur.
- Review Your Insurance Policy. Anyone who plans to rent a vehicle needs to check to see whether their coverage extends to rentals. If needed, discuss extending your coverage with your insurance company.
- Gathering together Important Contact Information. Make sure you have your auto insurance company, health insurance and legal contact information handy.
- Have Someone House Sit. That way you know someone is keeping an eye on your home and can help you manage any issues that may come up.
- Beef Up Your Home Security with a Few Smart Devices. Smart home security devices allow you to keep an eye on your home from afar, control systems remotely and receive alerts if anything out of the norm is detected.
Pick a Memorial Day Destination
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The destination is one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make in advance. There are three popular destination themes for Memorial Day travelers:
Iconic National Landmark – American holidays bring out people’s patriotic side, so it’s no surprise many families choose to travel to iconic national landmarks like Niagara Falls State Park or the Grand Canyon.
Cities With Military History – Cities like Charleston and San Diego are high on the list for travelers that want to show military appreciation on Memorial Day.
The Beach – There’s no denying that the beach is a popular attraction on Memorial Day weekend.
Some locations like San Diego combine all three of the characteristics listed above. Have a family meeting to go over your options, pick a destination and plan out a few activities to enjoy while you’re there.
Map Out Your Route
Once you know where you want to go the next step is to map out your travel route. Do you want to get there as quickly as possible? Or is a scenic drive more important than an extra hour or two of driving. Traffic is also something that should be considered.
There are a number of road trip apps that can help you map out the best route. A few of the top rate apps include Road trippers, Furkot and Google Maps.
Get Your Vehicle Ready for the Trip
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Before any road trip it’s important to give your vehicle a thorough inspection and get it ready for the road. Put the following items on your pre-road trip checklist:
- Check all fluid levels and top off anything that’s low.
- See if the filters need to be changed.
- Get a few extra quarts of oil and gallons of water to keep in the trunk.
- Check the tire pressure and fill with air as needed.
- Make sure your spare tire is in good working condition.
- Check all of the lights and turn signals to ensure they’re working properly.
- Look for any signs of wear and tear on belts and hoses.
- Check the battery and its terminals.
- Test the brakes and check the pads out visually.
- Put a first aid kit in the trunk if you don’t already have one.
If anything looks worn, broken or isn’t functioning properly schedule an inspection with your mechanic. It may be an unexpected vacation expense, but getting car problems fixed is a must before a road trip.