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Here’s a checklist for your road trip

Here's a checklist for your road trip

FINANCIAL NEWS

Here’s a checklist for your road trip

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Like millions of Americans, Derek and Denise Meredith are taking a road trip this Fourth of July.

In preparation for the 2,150-mile drive from Colorado to New Hampshire, the two filled up the tank of their Chevy Silverado 1500 pickup and stocked their 2019 Airstream Globetrotter with clothes, coffee and food for their dogs Moosie and Bear.

Derek says they plotted out their nightly campground stops in advance.

“We are staying in (Kampgrounds of America) parks. I basically laid out the whole route on the KOA app,” Derek said. “It showed us all the campgrounds on our route, about 300- to 400-miles apart and we made reservations before we left for each of those five nights.”

Derek says that flexibility is important, so he and Meredith are “never in a hurry.” They allow time for occasional McDonald’s stops and bathroom breaks for the dogs. 

The family’s pickup that’s towing the trailer is also getting attention.

“Before we left, we used a different app for a checklist that lets us customize the things that are important to us, both inside and outside the trailer, to make sure we don’t forget anything,” Derek said. 

The RV Checklist app, available on iOS and Android, comes with pre-populated to-do lists and you can alter tasks as needed. 

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The checklist reminds the couple to do everything from securing and stowing away loose contents to closing the awnings and lift lifting the entry steps before take off. 

Are you road tripping this summer? Send photos or tips for getting started to Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.

Whether you and those closest to you are headed along the scenic California coast, off the beaten path in Wyoming or toward your timeshare in Florida this summer, everything you’ve planned can be undone in an instant if you haven’t properly prepped your vehicle.

It’s common knowledge that preparation involves packing the right items – food, entertainment and extra bottles of water.

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While taking care of passengers is crucial, your car’s needs can mean the difference between making it to your destination safely and getting stranded in the middle of nowhere. In fact, the American Automobile Association predicts it will be rescuing nearly 367,000 motorists this Independence Day due to dead batteries, flat tires and other car troubles.

That’s out of 41.1 million Americans that will travel this holiday by car. 

Use this road trip checklist with tips from the AAA to make sure your summer vacation gets off to a smooth start:

Car maintenance

1. Battery: Hot weather can shorten the life of a car battery, so have yours tested by a technician before you hit the road.

2. Belts & Hoses: Look for worn, cracked, blistered or soft belts and hoses. Be sure to turn the engine off before performing the check.

3. Oil: Check the level and condition of the engine oil. The owners manual will have specific recommendations.

4. Tires: Check tires for tread wear. Make sure all tires, including the spare tire, are properly inflated.

5. Technician: Consider having your car checked by a technician before you head out. 

Travel planning 

If you are thinking of getting out of town for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, the best time to leave was Tuesday before drivers are expected to experience the greatest amount of congestion on Wednesday, according to the AAA. 

If you’re a last-minute traveler, you have time to do the following before you head out:

1. Accommodations: Reserve all accommodations in advance, but be flexible as emergencies happen.

2. Emergency kit: Carry a kit with a flashlight, batteries, jumper cables, first aid materials and extra water.

3. Entertainment: Pack books and games and make sure mobile devices are charged if you plan on using them.

4. Fuel: Don’t let the gas level get below one-quarter of a tank. Fill the tank before you leave. 

5. Route planning: Plan your route ahead of time. Make occasional stops to avoid drowsy or fatigued driving.

6. Safety: Make sure all the adults in the car are wearing seat belts and that children have adequate car seats and booster seats.

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