Friday, August 30, 2013

3 road trip tips for Labor Day weekend

Do you typically go somewhere each year for Labor Day or another holiday weekend? More often than not, I find myself wanting to take advantage of those rare moments where I get 72 hours of free time by visiting friends out of town. Chicago and Kansas City are some of my favorite spots to hit up, as I can get to both fairly easily from St. Louis. You'd think that with both destinations only requiring one different highway each to travel on, it'd be straightforward and simple. That's not always the case!

Toyota 4Runner, 2014 4Runner, Labor Day road trip, Weekend travel

Labor Day weekend (and really any three day holiday weekend) is going to be the busiest time of the year to travel. Our Lou Fusz Insurance manager Chris was talking with me about driving, and she came up with some ideas for getting yourself mentally and physically prepared for going out of town. Here are her top three pieces of advice before you pack your bags and hit the road:


1. Make sure your car is ready for the stress of several hundred (or more!) miles.

Has it been awhile since you've had your car checked for routine maintenance, or taken it in for an oil change? A road trip is the perfect excuse to get it done before you leave, so you can minimize the chances of having any problems occur. This includes the engine, radiator, and other fluids, such as your windshield wipers. Don't forget to check your tires and make sure they're properly inflated! It can be incredibly expensive to get your car fixed if you're out of town and need last minute repairs over the weekend. 


2. Plan ahead and know your route.

Traffic can get brutal on a Friday evening! If you're heading out after work, it's best to leave extra early if possible. You'll want to ideally be on the highway before 3 PM as many people tend to take shorter days on Friday, especially if it's a holiday weekend. Rush hour traffic can add an extra 30 mins to an hour of driving! If you're hoping to get to your destination by a certain time, it's also important to check online and see if there are any lane closures or construction work being done, as those can add significant amounts of time to your journey. A phone charger for your car is a good idea as well, if you plan to use GPS often.


3. Stay safe, energized, and focused on the road.

The weekend always brings a higher likelihood of drivers who are either tired or have been drinking. Because of this, you'll need to take extra precaution on the highway, more-so if you're driving at night. Taking a road trip longer than several hours? Make sure to have frequent stops to eat, use the restroom, stretch, and keep yourself hydrated. You should also consider splitting up driving duties if traveling with others. Know your personal limits, and if you start to feel tired, stop and rest! Drowsy driving is incredibly dangerous, and many people don't even realize when they start falling asleep behind the wheel for one to two seconds at a time.


Do you have any other road trip tips or ideas? Leave a comment and share them below! 

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