Are you planning a summer road trip with your family? Starting in Colorado, you can head north, south, east, or west, enjoying scenic stops along the way to each destination. Help make your vacation a success with these seven tips.
The United States has 12 major national parks, plus over 2,000 federal recreation sites. Your family gains access to each one with a single national park pass. The pass is only $80 per vehicle, and you can use it again and again all year long. Current US military members and dependents are even eligible for a free annual pass, allowing you to soak up the beauty and wonder of Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite Valley, and much more.
While it’s important to know where you’re going and when you plan to get there, don’t attempt to plan every minute of every day. After all, travel plans are highly susceptible to disruption. Traffic, road closures, bad weather, car sickness, and more threaten to ruin your best-laid plans, so leave room for some contingency travel time.
To avoid stress, set non-negotiable “anchor stops,” but keep the timeframes flexible. If you end up with extra time, then you can check out other destinations in the area before you move on to your next scheduled stop.
All along the way, be open to changing your plans on a whim. If a sign on the roadside catches your eye, be spontaneous and check it out. It might happen to be one of your favorite stops of the trip.
TripAdvisor, Yelp, and other review sites are your best bet for picking places to visit. But once you’re on the road, you have the priceless opportunity to ask locals for their advice about hidden gems you might otherwise overlook. Strike up a conversation with checkout clerks, waiters, and hotel concierges to get inside tips on how to make the most of your road trip.
Getting a car wash might be a waste, but it’s definitely worthwhile to clean out the interior of your car before hitting the road. Yes, you’ll probably leave fast food wrappers on the floor, wadded up receipts in the glove box, and crumbs all over the seats, but at least you can start with a clean slate. Then, as your trip progresses, throw away the trash that accumulates every few days. If you’re going to spend hours on end in the car, having a clean interior makes it that much more tolerable.
Going on a road trip may be more immersive than flying, but it takes longer to reach your destination. Keep the family entertained with music, podcasts, and audiobooks. Also, encourage your passengers to bring their own music players and headphones, books, travel games, and other entertainment. When anyone complains of being bored, try playing classic road trip games, such as license plate scavenger hunt, I Spy, 20 Questions, team storytelling, and more.
The last thing you need is an overheated engine or other car trouble on your road trip. To make sure your vehicle is up to the task, take it to a mechanic for a tune-up about a week before your vacation. This is your chance to get an oil change, top off the fluid levels, inspect the brakes, rotate the tires, and do anything else your car needs to run smoothly for many miles to come.
Even preventative measures aren’t always enough to prevent a dead battery, flat tire, or other problems. If you get stranded, you’ll be glad you have an emergency kit to help you through it. Keep your trunk stocked with jumper cables, tire sealant, a spare tire and jack, flashlight, car phone chargers, food, water, a toolbox, sturdy shoes, and any other supplies you might need on the side of the road.
While you’re busy planning your trip, let the expert mechanics at Scott’s Fort Collins Auto get your car ready for the road. Our services will give you peace of mind as you enjoy traveling the country with your family. Stop by when it’s convenient for you, or if you prefer, you can call ahead at (970) 682-4202 or schedule an appointment online.