March 11, 2015

5 Tips to Help You Get Ready for Your 2015 Spring Break Road Trip


This has been a wicked Winter but rest assured Spring will soon be here. I know it's hard to believe while those mounds of dirty snow just outside your window but hang in there Spring is on its way!

As we gear up for our annual Spring Break Road Trip I decided to share some traveling tips with some of my fellow road warriors.  These tried and true tips are sure to help you save money as you and your family gear up for your road trip. 


#1  Make Sure ALL of Your Tires Are Properly Inflated
         Winter has wrecked havoc on city streets and potholes are everywhere.  Lessen your chances of a blowout by making sure your tires are properly inflated.  My mechanic suggests steering away from those gas station tire inflators with the auto tire gauge and don't rely solely on the your car's tire pressure monitoring system.  He suggests a quick visit to your local mechanic or tire shop is the best way to make sure your tires are properly inflated.  Don't forget about the spare tire tucked away in the trunk of your car.  Be sure to keep a tire gauge in your car's glove compartment at all times.  Properly inflated tires help save money at the gas pump as well. 

#2  Schedule a Checkup
         Before hitting the road you should always schedule always check fluids and your car's air filter.  Make sure oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and wiper fluid levels are where they should be.  My mechanic checks belts and hoses for wear and tear and always clears the corrosion on our car battery.  Recently, he cleaned my headlights.  OMG what a huge difference. 
Checkups aren't expensive either.  Some mechanics offer vehicle maintenance specials just in time for the Spring Break Road Trip season.  Be on the lookout for specials in your local newspaper.  Also, be sure to ask about discounts.  Some mechanics offer discounts for military, retirees, or my favorite Ladies' Day. 

#3  Make Sure Your GPS Software is Current or at least have a Roadmap
         For months you've ignored the flashing Update GPS Software notice on your phone or GPS, but if you're planning to hit the road now is the time to make sure your software is current.  Technology helps answer the dreaded road trip question "Are we there yet?"  There's some reassurance being able to tell the kiddos exactly how long it is til we reach our destination.   Plus having the latest software is the best way to make sure you don't take a wrong turn end up crossing the border into Mexico.  It only happened once but my family refuses to let me forget it.  Yes...this REALLY happened.

#4  Change the Air Filter
         Chances are you probably haven't changed your air filter since...  Changing the air filter is often one of the simplest and least expensive changes you can make.  Just like changing your A/C air filter helps cut costs on your home energy bill, changing your car's air filter helps cut costs on your car's fuel bill.  Changing the air filter only takes a few minutes.  Check online for How To videos or ask your mechanic to show you how to change your air filter during your next visit.
        
#5   Combat Boredom 
          Be sure to pack a tennis ball, Frisbee, and a camera to combat boredom.  Get out the car and enjoy a quick game of ball toss or toss around the Frisbee with the kids.  Be sure to snap pics when you stop for gas or even at road stops or attractions along the way.  Check out area rest stops for a unique peek into the history of that area.  If you stop along I-40 in New Mexico check out the teepee-style rest area. 

Enjoy your Spring Break road trip and if you have some tips you'd like to share... let me know and leave a comment below.

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