According to a recent AAA survey, more than one-third of Americans (35 percent) are planning to take a vacation of 50 miles or more away from home. And while most families (70 percent) aim to take one or two vacations, at least 28 percent are planning to take three or more — a 13 percent increase from 2016. Road trips (79 percent) remain the preferred type of getaway.
Spring break getaways kick-off the beginning of the travel season. AAA encourages travelers to prepare, and be prepared, for these much anticipated family vacations. Although you may be excited to pack the suitcase, throw it in the car and hit the road, AAA has some tips to ensure you plans run a smoothly as possible.
First things first: Is your vehicle road-ready?
• Routine preventative maintenance is critical to keeping your vehicle running well and helping avoid breakdowns, which would certainly throw a wrench in your spring break vacation. AAA recommends having your vehicle inspected before setting off on a long trip.
• All Miami Valley area AAA Tire & Auto locations offer free bumper-to-bumper vehicle inspections and AAA membership is not required.
• Always check the big three: batteries, tires and fluids.
Tips for safe travel
• Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the popular spring break travel season. Keep anything of value in the trunk or covered storage area.
• Make sure any loose objects are secured in the vehicle. Remember “safety first.” Make sure everyone is properly restrained by a safety belt or child safety seat to prevent injury in case of a sudden stop, swerve, or collision.
• Get plenty of sleep before the trip, travel at times when you are normally awake, and schedule breaks every two hours or 100 miles to avoid becoming drowsy. Research done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that drowsy driving is a factor in an average of 328,000 crashes annually, including 109,000 crashes that resulted in injuries and 6,400 fatal crashes.
• Keep a cellphone and car charger with you at all times in case of an emergency.
• Pack an emergency road kit containing a flashlight and extra batteries, jumper cables, warning devices, a first-aid kit, drinking water and snacks, and a basic tool kit.
AAA travel tools
• Contact your local AAA office for the expert advice of a trusted travel advisor who can provide personalized service and first-hand destination knowledge to create a memorable vacation experience.
• Download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can be used to map a route, find the lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, find nearly 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants, request roadside assistance and more. For more information or to begin planning a trip, go online to AAA.com/Travel.
• Wondering how much to budget for gas? Visit AAA Fuel Cost Calculator for a customized estimate of fuel costs based on your vehicle type, destination and current gas prices.
Every month in Life, Cindy Antrican, public affairs manager for AAA Allied Group, Inc., provides traffic safety tips and information for motorists. Email: CAntrican@aaa-alliedgroup.com.
Before your family makes that spring break trip … – MyDaytonDailyNews