Memorial Day unofficially marks the beginning of summer. It’s a long weekend that many choose to take advantage of and travel with friends or family. Camping trips, day trips, and couples taking weekend getaways are popular. Unfortunately, you aren’t the only one that has fun in mind! The rest of America has woken up to the nicer weather too and is eager to set out onto the road. Below are some points to consider before heading out.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Before starting off on your trip, you’ll want to be certain your vehicle is performing at optimal levels. This involves checking the tires for proper inflation and checking the brakes, windshield wipers, fluid levels, and battery. If you are taking the vehicle on a multi-day trip, consider getting your trusted mechanic to give it the thumbs up. As well, reviewing your auto policy and finding the right cheap car insurance can keep you on the right track and enjoying the open road.
Pack Your Travel Documents
Even if you are traveling domestically, taking documents like your license or enhanced license, your passport and COVID 19 proof of vaccinations is a great idea, just in case you need them. Traveling somewhere new, you might encounter restrictions at venues you hadn’t considered. Some states offer apps that carry this information on your phone for you.
Know When to Travel
Three-day weekends are great until everyone gets on the road at the same time. Consider heading out a day before (that Thursday) and arriving home either a day before or a day after Memorial Day. Traveling on the Monday of Memorial Day will likely have you encounter a tangle of other drivers doing the same who want to get home in time for work.
Keep Your Plans to Yourself
While it’s perfectly ok (and even encouraged) to let your family and friends know that you’ll be leaving town for a few days, don’t announce it ahead of time on social media. Thieves love the tipoff that nobody will be home, and will use this information to their advantage. Some insurance claims have even been rejected when there’s social media evidence that the family was away from home at that time. Save all your photo uploads for when you return.
Clean Your House
There’s nothing worse than returning home from a trip to see a sink full of dirty dishes or an unmade bed. Before leaving, make your bed with freshly washed sheets, and be sure you have something quick and easy in the house to eat so you won’t be faced with making a full-on meal.
Allow for Extra Time
Even if you start your journey a day ahead of expected traffic, you’re going to want to give yourself a little extra time to get there and come back. Figure out at least one or two interesting stops along the way so you and the family can take a breather from the road and do something fun. Fighting fatigue at the wheel is dangerous, and walking around while stimulating your senses will allow for rejuvenation.
Choose the Right Destination
Every trip is exciting, but if you have only three or four days to spend, you’re going to want to consider your destination wisely. Ask yourself these questions:
- How many hours am I willing to drive to get there?
- How much money in fuel can I spend?
- What attractions am I looking for?
- How much is a typical hotel stay – or is camping an option?
- Are there activities for the children?
You might be surprised to learn that some of the best destinations are right in your own geographical backyard. An hour or two away in any direction might yield adventures you hadn’t realized even existed!
A young man is wearing a backpack on his back
Whether you are going by plane or car, packing lightly always makes sense. There are fewer items to keep track of, fewer items to lose, and more room for souvenirs! Three or four days doesn’t require a brand new outfit for each day. Think realistically about what you and your family members need to have for those few days.
Take a Moment to Remember
The Memorial Day holiday might mark the unofficial start of the summer season, but it’s important to remember why we celebrate the holiday and to take a moment to reflect. Visiting a veteran’s cemetery or taking a moment of silence to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the United States military will add meaning and humility to your vacation.