July fourth road trip

The nation's birthday is right around the corner and you're probably gearing up to hit the road with your friends or family. Kicking back and conversing while you enjoy the roadside spectacles of the good old U.S.A. is as American as apple pie. But before you set off on your July Fourth trip, you should do a little planning. Being spontaneous can be fun, but if you don't have a game plan situated, you could be in danger of not making it to your destination on time or not know what to do if you get into an accident. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your Fourth of July road trip:

Pick the right time to travel
Timing is key to a successful road trip. You don't want to be stuck in rush hour traffic because you procrastinated. A lot of people will be taking a vacation during this time, so take a few extra minutes to plan where you are going and how long it will take to get there. If you know your destination will be a few hours away, set your alarm and start the trek early. You may run into a little bit of traffic, but if you time it correctly you won't have to worry about it for too long.

Check on your car
Spending hours on the road in the hot sun can be hard on your car, and if you have an older model, breaking down on the side of the road could be a real threat. Before you depart, take your car into the shop for a tune-up. Have the oil, batteries, coolant system and tire pressure checked. You car ride will be much more enjoyable if everything is working perfectly.

Be sure to check on your car insurance policy and see that everything is up to date. Getting into an accident in another state can be frightening, but you will be relaxed knowing that you are covered.

Emergency kit
Although you may consider yourself a safe driver, there is nothing wrong with preparing yourself in case something goes wrong. A car emergency kit is a great thing to have on hand if you get into an accident or if your car stalls out while you are sightseeing. Here are a few items you should have in your kit:

  • Jumper cables
  • Duct tape
  • Roadside flares
  • Extra gallons of engine oil
  • Flashlight
  • Toolkit with screwdrivers, hammer and wire cutters

Take breaks
You may want to rush to your destination, but an important thing to do on your trip is rest. Driving for hours on end is tiring, and the fatigue puts you at risk of an accident. This is your vacation, and you should enjoy your time with your friends and family, not worrying about if your car is going to start or if you're going to get in an accident.

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