by Christie Stock, president, Discount Tire 

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go! Yes, indeed, it’s that time again for warm weather and happy travels. Wherever your adventure leads, before hitting the road, it’s always best to be prepared. Here are some handy tips to use in order for your journey to be a happy and safe one.

Young family on day out in country

  • Car maintenance: Before going on a trip is the perfect time to have your car looked over. Be sure to check tires, including spares, battery, belts, fluids and the air conditioner. It’s also important to note that in the event you’re driving in a hot climate or towing a boat or trailer, you may need a motor oil with a higher viscosity.
  • Emergency preparedness: Make sure your car is packed with essential items needed in case of an emergency, such as water, warm blankets, flashlights, jumper cables, flares, first-aid kit, tools to change a tire, detailed road map (GPS can fail from time to time) and non-perishable food.
  • Little passengers: If you are traveling with little ones, check their car seats and boosters for proper installation and wear. As you pack for your trip, plan to intercept the eventual “I’m bored” statement by packing books, toys, games and other fun distractions to keep their minds entertained. Also be prepared to take plenty of breaks to let them stretch and play.
  • Plan, plan and more plan: Smart phones are not just for texting and calls. Use it to help make your trip smoother (as a passenger or when not driving). Always know the weather at your final destination and every spot along the way. Download useful apps to get up-to-date road conditions (i.e., Utah’s U-Dot Traffic app covers the whole state in road conditions, accidents and weather). Your phone can also be used to find local eateries, fun sight-seeing destinations, and interesting town/city facts. But, remember to disconnect from the digital tool in order to explore and let adventure find you.

Whatever your plans are, remember to be safe and have fun.

“The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” — Sir Richard Burton