labor day travelOpting for an eco-friendly summer vacation this year? Going on a road trip across the States is one way to do it. Not only is it for the adventurous at heart, but it is a perfect choice for those who are after finding hidden jewels versus mainstream attractions.

Whatever your reason for choosing to road trip for your summer vacation, the key to any successful trip lies in planning. Your summer road trip is no exception. In fact, failing to plan correctly could leave you in a tight spot.

Here is what you need to prepare for a fun and safe summer trip in your car or RV this year.

Tune up your vehicle

Lack of maintenance on your vehicle could leave you on the side of the road and your trip cut short before it begins.

And, in a worst-case scenario, you could be involved in a car accident. According toWestCoastTrialLawyers.com, a car accident attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyer’s Glendale location,”In an instant, a car accident can destroy the lives of victims and their families. Millions of Americans are injured every year in motor vehicle accidents. Thousands of innocent people are killed, and those who survive often walk away with permanent disabilities, including brain damage and spinal cord injuries.”

When was the last time you put your car in for a thorough maintenance check? If you can’t pinpoint the date, your vehicle is likely overdue. When it comes to safety on the road, always err on the side of caution. Pack a car road safety kit, too. Check out this list from Men’s Health on the 11 items you should keep in your car.

Plan your route in advance.

Think you want to head out without knowing your final destination? You might want to rethink that. When you find only tumbleweeds and no gas station for miles around, you will wish you had put in a couple hours toward plotting out your path.

If this is your first or one of your first road trips, it’s much safer to plan out your route in advance. You might decide to travel from coast to coast. Or to drive down to see a family member or a friend several states away. You can then look for overnight stops and day stops along the way.

Naturally, the level of planning you do will depend on the type of road tripper you are. But generally, having a destination in mind is a good idea. Besides, researching places to eat, camp, do, and see can be a large part of the fun.

As you mark out a good route, make sure you also mark out places to stay for the night, as well as gas and pit stops, outside of the usual attractions. If you plan to stay at a hotel instead of camp, make your reservation in advance, as hot spots fill up fast.

Stay connected to friends.

Will you be traveling alone? Even if you are traveling with one other person, make sure you have friends and family who know your approximate location. Check in at the start or end of each day. Let them know your next point of destination.

If something should happen and you aren’t able to phone in, your friends and family will know right away that something isn’t right.

Pack your car for health, comfort, and safety.

With so many quality hours in the car, you are going to want to stock up on essentials that will keep you going from one point to the next. Highway rest stops are not known for their healthy food offerings, and after a while, you are going to start craving healthy food.

For your health’s sake, stock up on non-perishable health foods that are easy to eat on the go. Nuts, whole wheat crackers, health bars, etc. If you don’t want your vacation to cause you to gain weight, have aneating plan and stick to it.

To keep yourself comfortable, pack wet wipes, comfortable clothes and shoes for driving, and a back pillow, if needed.

Don’t forget to load up your playlist with podcasts, audiobooks, and music. You will be glad you did when hours of the same type of scenery pass you by.

Lastly, make sure you bring all your essential travel papers, credit cards, and money, sufficient for your trip. Have a hidden stash of cash separate from where you keep the rest of your important documents.

Final words: Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and enjoy!

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