road trip

Summer is here, and you know what that means—road trip! If you are ready to see some of the sights with your girlfriends, it helps to be prepared. Whether you are heading to the national parks of the Southwest or taking a New England tour, preparation is key.

Get your motor running.
You’re not going anywhere if your car isn’t in working condition. Here are a few things you need to do before you begin your road trip:

  1. Maintain the oil. Having your radiator coolant leak out along Route 66 is no way to enjoy a day of travel. Have all of your fluids checked before you head out. Make sure that the mechanic checks for leaks as well.
  2. Go under the hood. Check for corrosion and cracks on battery cables and hoses. A freshly changed air filter will keep harmful particles like the dust of the Southwest and the ragweed of the Midwest away from your engine. Battery tip: If you’ve had your car battery for a few years, consider getting it changed—hot weather drains it faster, and getting stuck on a highway like the Massachusetts Turnpike with a dead battery is no picnic.
  3. Test your car’s features. Other things to have checked in your car include air conditioning, wiper blades, lights (inside—including your check engine light—and out) and the electrical system.

Corrina Phillips, a road tripper from Logan, Utah, also recommends a AAA membership: “It’s nice to know that you have someone you can call, no matter where you are, to get you out of trouble.” Besides, she adds, “All it takes is one major tow bill to realize what a blessing AAA can be.”