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Planning a Spring Road Trip: 6 Tips to Keep in Mind 

Between inflation and lingering pandemic fears, you might not feel like boarding a plane or have the spare ticket cash. However, vacations are necessary for your body and mind. You become an unproductive zombie going through the motions each day if you skip them year after year.

Why not load up the family truckster and seek adventure on America’s highways and byways? Here are five tips to keep in mind when planning your spring road trip.

 

Prep Your Vehicle 

When was the last time you took your car to the shop for inspection? Some states don’t require it, but a breakdown can throw a big-time wrench in your fun. At the very least, change the oil if it’s been a while. Neglecting to do so causes heat damage, eventually leading to complete engine failure if you aren’t careful.

 

Tend to your car’s interior, too. Springtime sunshine feels heavenly on your skin, but its harmful UV rays fade your leather, leading to cracks and rips. Do you want a quick and easy fix? Invest in a windshield cover that blocks the sun from entering your vehicle, doing double-duty by keeping you cooler on hot days.

Pro-tip: Carry maintenance essentials in your vehicle. At the very least, you should have triangles, flares and a jack for changing a flat tire. You could also include a small tool bag if you’re handy enough to perform relatively easy tasks like swapping out the radiator on an old Jeep CJ. Check with your insurance before you leave about your roadside assistance coverage — bump it up or join a club like Triple-A for maximum peace of mind.

 

Pack the Essentials 

Road trips can get costly if you forget things and have to buy them along the way — especially with today’s inflation. Here’s a shortlist of what to include in your spring road trip go-bag:

 

● Mix and match clothes: Two or three shirts with one dressy bottom and one casual keep it light.
● Extra underwear and socks: Take some heavy socks if car temperature wars leave your flip-flop-clad feet shivering.
● Prescription and OTC medications
● Any assistive devices — including your glasses, contacts and solution
● Electronic devices and chargers: Include your Airpods and peripheral devices, such as extra lenses for professional cameras.
● Hygiene supplies: A few areas still have COVID-19 restrictions in effect. To be honest, you should always carry sanitizer and it doesn’t hurt to have a mask or two for entering crowded areas.
● Water and snacks: Food prices continue to soar and restaurants raise theirs to compensate. Save cash and eat healthier by stocking up on trail mix and other healthy snacks you feel good giving your kids.
● Blankets, toys and comfort items: A blanket can be your best friend if you break down on a chilly desert highway at night. Your kids need something to soothe them, too — perhaps their favorite plush toy?

Choose Your Destinations 

You could hit the road and let the wind dictate your direction. However, safety rules say you should chart a course, leaving a copy of your “flight plan” with someone on the home front. The chances of something happening are slim, but it’s comforting for folks to know where to look if you don’t arrive at your destination on time.

 

Where should you go? If you’re on the east coast, why not tour Cape Cod or head south for the Miami to Key West crawl? Are you west of the Mississippi? Historic Route 66 can’t be beat for scenery changes — you can nearly experience all four seasons in one 2-week jaunt.

Reduce Fuel Costs 

If you drive a standard Hummer,  you might cringe at the pump. Why not consider leasing an electric vehicle? You’ll find oodles of charging stations in many popular vacation destinations, allowing you to take in the sights while you recharge.

At the very least, check your tires. Poorly inflated ones decrease fuel efficiency. Turn off your AC whenever possible, especially when pulling big hills, to further reduce demand.

 

Manage Your Road Debris 

Sadly, most gas stations don’t have recycling bins. However, letting all those bottles roll around your car’s floor while you travel causes stress. That’s what you’re trying to escape on your holiday.

 

Make your life easier by packing two bags — one for trash, the other for recyclables. A quick Google search reveals nearby sorting centers if you start to overflow. That way, you aren’t dumping perfectly reusable plastic in landfills, adding to the climate crisis.

 

Planning a Spring Road Trip 

Everyone deserves a vacation getaway. However, you might not have the time or money for boarding a plane and departing for foreign shores.

 

Why not head out on the highway to find adventure and family fun? Keep these five tips in mind when planning your spring road trip.

 

About The Author

Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded. He writes about cars, fitness, the outdoors, and more. Follow @TModded on Twitter for more articles from the Modded team.