Road Trip Hacks

Road trip hacks

When you’re embarking on a summer road trip, you want it to be fun, not painful. Here are some road trip hacks to make your trip even more fun.

Start Saving

You’ll want to start saving road trip cash up way before you go. That way, anything you’re spending is what you’ve already set aside for the trip.

Check Your Tires

You want to make sure your tire pressure is just right so that you don’t have to suffer through any flats our blow-outs. Check your owner’s manual for proper PSI so you can adjust your tires before a big trip.

Have a Travel Kit

Make sure you have all the essentials, like a jack, an emergency blanket, maps, a first aid kit, a wrench, and anything else you’ll need for common road emergencies.

Download Some Apps

Download convenience apps like gas apps which tell you where to find the cheapest gas. You can also download any other apps that might help you, like ones that show you where to find food or where police cars are hiding.

Book Hotels in Advance

You’ll get hotels for a much cheaper rate if you book them ahead of time. Look up hotels or motels along your route and call in advance.

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The Basic Supplies for a Roadside Emergency Kit

roadside emergency kit

Staying prepared is essential for handling emergency situations. That why you should always carry a well-stocked roadside emergency kit. We’ve put together a list of some of the most important supplies to bring in case you get stranded on the side of the road.

According to Edmunds, the most basic roadside emergency kit should have the following items:

  • Jumper cables are essential. These should be portable and high-quality cables, capable of reaching at least 25 feet. You never know when your battery is going to die.
  • Flares or triangle reflectors are great for getting attention. You need to be able to alert drivers to your situation.
  • A first aid kit is great for any medical emergency. Look for one stocked with bandages disinfectant, stitching materials, and more.
  • Spare fluids will work in a pinch. This includes coolant (or a gallon of water that can double as drinking water), oil, and transmission fluid.
  • A basic tool kit with duct tape is also great for emergencies. You may need a screwdriver (both flat and Phillips), a pair of pliers, and an adjustable wrench. Duct tape is great for slowing leaks in an emergency.
  • Batteries and a flashlight are essentials for nighttime. Not only will a flashlight help you see, but it also keeps you calm in scary situations.
  • Finally, always carry Fix-a-Flat or another tire-patching kit. This will work if your spare is missing or flat, though such kits are not meant for long-term repairs.

These are just the basics. Keep your kit well stocked, and be sure to replenish supplies every few months. Make sure batteries work, and always add or remove items depending on your specific situation and driving habits.

Safety Tips: How to Drive in Fog

how to drive in fog

Severe fog is considered the most dangerous driving situation, and causes the highest number of multi-car pileups, so it’s important to know how to drive in fog and avoid common mistakes.

One of the most important things to remember about driving in fog is that fog tricks your eyes. It makes you think you’re going slower than you really are, so people often speed up when driving in fog. Don’t do this! Pay attention to your speedometer and go the speed limit at most, though it’s safest to slow down a bit more.

It’s important to keep your lights on when driving in fog so that other cars can see you. Even if it makes it harder to see, you don’t want to be invisible. Don’t turn on your brights—this doesn’t help with anyone’s visibility—but don’t just leave it to your daytime running lights, either.

Keep an eye on the lines of the road so you don’t drift into other lanes or unconsciously steer toward the lights of other cars. And keep your distance from other cars—it’s harder to perceive distance in the fog, which is why it’s so easy to rear-end someone.

Holiday Help: Thanksgiving Driving Tips

thanksgiving driving tipsDid you know Thanksgiving is the busiest time for driving of the entire year? It is even busier than Christmas. And when the roads are that clogged up with holiday travelers in a hurry to get where they’re going, driving can get tricky. Here are some Thanksgiving driving tips to keep you and your family safe on your road trip.

Before any long drive, you should pack an emergency car kit. Keep a flashlight, a blanket, a first aid kit, basic tools in case you need to make a quick fix or change a tire, and food and water.  Check your tire pressure and all your fluids!

When you’re planning the trip, try to figure out when you can leave to avoid the busiest times of day. Sometimes hitting traffic will be inevitable, especially if you’re driving all day, but if you plan it right, you can save yourself time and lower your risk of an accident.

If you’re driving with a significant other or friend, trade off driving with them every few hours. This way no one’s falling asleep at the wheel. Have a snack or stop for food when you need to, and stay hydrated!

Driving with Pets in Summer

driving with pets in summer

Driving with your pets can be stressful, whether you’re going on a long trip just taking them to the V-E-T (shh!). However, driving with pets in summer or any extreme temperatures requires you to be even more conscientious, so here are some tips to keep your furry friend comfortable.

First: follow the laws. They’re in place for a reason! If something is against the law, like leaving your pet in a car by itself (in some states), it’s probably because it’s not safe or humane for your pet to be kept in those conditions.

Also, as tempting as it might be to let your dog stick his head out the window in the warm weather, animals should not be allowed to ride this way. It’s very dangerous, as the dog could be hit in the face by debris and his lungs and ears could be damaged.

Make sure your air conditioning is in good shape! Besides keeping your pet super hydrated, it’s also important to keep them cool. They are covered in hot fur, after all!

For these and more tips from the American Humane Association for driving with your furry friends, click here.

3 Best Road Trip Games to Play This Summer

Best Road Trip Games

As road trip season quickly approaches, we thought we’d share some of our all-time favorite games for keeping the whole family entertained and engaged. While many cars today can come equipped with convenient in-car entertainment systems, we might not all be so lucky. In case you’re looking for a few ideas to make your next road trip a fun one, here is our list of best road trip games.

I Spy

I Spy is an all-time classic. Players take turns choosing an object, and saying “I spy with my little eye something that is….” and names the color, or shape, or first letter of the object’s name. Everyone else in the car should take turns making their best guesses. Make sure everyone chooses objects that will be visible for several minutes (a car moving the other direction or a sign just ahead probably isn’t fair game).

20 Questions

20 Questions is another classic, and doesn’t include the world’s most annoying “are we there yet?” question. Start by choosing two or three categories that everyone will have to stay within. For example: pets, clothing, or transportation; or person, place or thing (to make it more challenging). The first person to go should choose one thing that falls into one of those categories. Then, everyone in the car should take turns asking yes or no questions to narrow down the answer. Once someone thinks they have the answer, they should guess. Only 20 questions are allowed before the answer must be revealed.

License Plates

Bring a piece of paper to keep score for this game. There are a number of ways to play, so get creative, and change things up. Begin by choosing a time-frame (will the game last for the entire trip, or just two hours?). Then have each person call out different states as they see them, and notate those on the paper. First one to get one for each letter of the alphabet, wins!

Here at Cumberland Chrysler Center, we want to know: what is your favorite road trip game? Tell us in the comments!

For more kid-friendly games on-the-go, visit minitime.com.

Tax Preparation Tips for the Dreaded Big Day

Tax Preparation Tips

At this point, the deadline to submit your taxes is less than a week away, meaning you’ve hopefully already done so or are deep in the process of completing them.

However, no matter how many times you’ve gone through the process, it can be mystifying each year thanks to tiny changes and last minute switch-ups. To help you out, here’s a list of tax preparation tips:

  • Gather your personal information ahead of time, such as your social security number, copies of last year’s tax info, and bank account numbers.
  • Locate all the paperwork on your income info – meaning your W-2 forms, etc. – which can take some extra time, especially if you need to contact anyone about them early.
  • Set aside a clear, relaxing work space to get all of the work done, and carve out as much as time as possible for this chore. Having an entire free day to take care of your taxes will seriously reduce the stress involved.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and consult a trusted professional.

Do you have any other tax preparation tips? Let us know your ideas in the comments, and good luck this year!