According to AAA, the percentage Americans traveling at least 50 miles from home this Independence Day increased 4.9 percent from last year, putting the final number at approximately 42.3 million travelers. This is a huge jump - and the end to summer is still a long way off! If you have plans to hit the road at least one last time before the season's done, take into consideration some of these travel tips to help you stay safe and enjoy yourself.
1.Before you go...conduct a vehicle safety checklist. Check the air pressure in all of your tires, your headlights and break lights, AC performance, fluid levels and the wear and tear on your wiper blades.
2.Pack two types of first-aid kits: one for you, and one for your car. For your personal kit include a few basic over the counter medications, Band-Aids, antiseptics, a solar powered flashlight, thermometer, scissors, water, etc. Your car first-aid kit should include a tire pressure gauge, blanket, flares, pen and paper, jumper cables and bungee cords.
3.Anticipate trouble spots. The DC beltway at 5pm on a Friday? The New Jersey Turnpike during morning rush-hour? When mapping out your course of travel, recognize which areas may give you the most trouble and how you can avoid them.
4.Monitor the weather. Skies may be clear and the sun shining when you start out on your journey, but who knows what it will be like a few hundred miles up the road. Keep an eye on the weather reports for where you are and where you're going, and be prepared for changes.
5.Make reservations. Travelers often end up spending countless hours searching for vacant hotels at the end of a long day's drive. Mapping out your end point for the day and calling ahead for room reservations will save you time and energy.