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My husband and I just spent the last six months living and working at the Grand Canyon. And for the past week we have been on the road, traveling from Arizona to Georgia for our winter break. We have seen some pretty crazy things along the way on this trip, so I thought I would make a list of five smart things you can do to make any roadtrip go better:
1. Make a checklist of things you need to pack. Have you ever gotten to your motel or campsite on the first night of your trip, only to discover you didn’t have everything you needed with you? Making a simple list could alleviate problems like not having your sleeping bag, or your coffee pot, with you. Whether the list is on paper or in your head, making a list of important things to pack is always a smart thing to do.
2. Check your tires before you go! We travel in an RV, and passed three RV’s who have had blown out tires in the first four days of our trip. One of those drivers obviously didn’t know he had a flat on the trailer, because it was smoking and he was traveling about 65 miles per hour down the highway. The smart thing to do is to check the tires for correct inflation, and for any wear or punctures at every stop. This is not only smart for you, but if safer for everyone on the road. The last blow out we saw happened right in front of us, and flung debris all over the road. Oh, and always carry a spare tire!
3. Call your bank before you set out on your travels. It would have been smart for me to do this before my ATM Debit card was declined for “suspicious” activity at a fuel stop. A phone call could have let them know I would be traveling out of my home area, and prevented a very frustrating hour at a truck stop.
4. Leave a note. Let someone know where you are going, and when you expect to be there. It is always a good, safe idea to let others know of your plans. If have car trouble, get lost, or just change your plans, call and let them know. Even a for a one day trip, it’s good to let a friend or family member know.
5. Eat healthy snacks and drink plenty of water. Driving long distances can wear you out and make you drowsy. Snacks like nuts, dried fruit, celery sticks, apple slices, grapes, mixed berries, or popcorn will be better for you than chips and candy. We keep a case of water on the back seat of our truck all the time, and drink several bottles a day. Dehydration can cause you to be cranky and have a headache–not something you want while cooped up in the car with your family or friends. Be smart, and eat those healthy snacks and drink plenty of water!