August 14, 2014
The last days of summer are upon us and with the waning days of sun and fun, we rush to get in our last adventures. In fact in August, we’re on the road more than any month of the year.
Last August, Americans drove a total of 266.9 billion miles en route to vacations or to spend time with their families. Road trips to Mid-Atlantic and Southern beaches are among the top domestic driving vacations in our area.
Have a Plan and Stay Safe
AAA advises travelers to plan ahead. If you’re traveling by car to any of your favorite destinations, these tips will help you become road trip ready:
Carry an emergency kit with a flashlight, extra batteries, warning devices such as flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables, a first-aid kit and extra water.
Don’t let the gas level get below one-quarter of a tank. You’ll never know when or where you may be stuck in congested traffic. Check AAA’s Fuel Finder at aaa.fuelfinder.com for the best prices in your travel area.
Select your route on a map ahead of time and study it to know exactly where you are going. Stay on main roads if possible, and don’t forget your AAA mapping tools like TripTiks.
Reserve all your accommodations in advance and have your confirmation information in hand when you check in.
Lock your car and keep your valuables out of sight. If stopping for a break at night, choose a well-lighted, populated parking facility or rest stop.
Secure children, adults and pets in safety seats, booster seats or seat belts as required by law. If you get out for a stretch, never leave your children and pets unattended. In fact, it’s a great idea to get everyone out for a break.
To make the most of your trip, bring information on your destination. Many attractions offer discounted tickets, which can be purchased at AAA East Central branch offices or online at AAA.com/tickets.
It pays to remind yourself to slow down, avoid distractions like texts while driving, and to stop when you’re tired.
Don’t Let the Unexpected Put a Damper On Your Plans
No matter what your mode of travel, stay alert to weather events that could impact on your itinerary. Over the Fourth of July weekend, some travelers on the East Coast experienced the havoc a summer storm can create. AAA urges you not to let the unexpected put a “damper” on your summer vacation plans.
In the event of bad weather, AAA offers the following tips for making the best of a changing situation:
If you are traveling into an area with a forecast of bad weather, stay aware of the changing forecast.
Check airline websites and sign up for emails and text alerts for your flights.
Consider altering your driving plans. If you arrive and bad weather hits, follow all safety directions offered by local authorities.
If you want to change your travel plans, be aware of cancellation policies. If you have travel insurance or a waiver, be aware of any restrictions.
You can get information about options for protecting your trip at aaa.com/travelinsurance. Motorists also can find a variety of services, brochures and guides on highway safety, car care and safe summer travel at AAA.com.