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How to Prepare for the Ultimate Summer Road Trip

Summer is such a wonderful time to travel. It's true that there may be more drivers on the road than other times throughout the year, but traveling with windows down, and at your leisure can reduce stress. It's easy to let anxieties of travel creep in and take over before you head off on your next adventure. There are many steps you can take before you pack up your car for your trip to help make it a smooth and memorable time for all. We've chosen a few top tips to help you start your trip off on the right foot.

1. Prepare your car ahead of time.

No one wants to be caught having to deal with a major vehicle issue in the middle of traveling. One way to make sure your car is working properly and can handle a road trip is to take it by a dealership or trusted auto shop for a tune-up. The staff will be able to check for underlying issues you may not be aware of. You can do small things at home that will also help your vehicle stay in tip-top shape for a trip.

2. Keep the car clean.

One of the biggest mistakes we tend to see when people travel long distances in their cars is not keeping it clean. You should always clean your car before you embark on a new journey. The sentiment that it will just get dirty may be true, you definitely don't want new dirt and grime from roadways and elements sticking on top of old dirt that wasn't washed off. At the very least, run your car through a car wash for a surface cleaning, and make sure all windows are cleaned, as well.

3. Empty the trash.

When I was growing up, every time we took a road trip, we emptied any trash that has accumulated in the car every time we stopped. No one wants a trash-filled car. It's dirty and can become highly unsanitary if not taken care of. Not to mention- food and wrappers can easily cling to seats, making for a huge and hard to clean mess. Keep a small trash bag in the car for little things, and you may consider keeping a plastic grocery bag in the glove compartment to collect larger trash items as you near your next stop.

4. Map your route ahead of time.

Ah, GPS. It's a wonderful thing and can be so helpful when you're on the road, especially venturing into areas you've never traveled through. One of the things we like to do before any trip is to completely lay out which roads we will travel and mark off exists we will need to take. I usually print the step by step directions from Google Maps, just in case we wind up going through an area with a bad signal and can't rely on live GPS. Mark down areas where there is known construction, which might cause delays. You can make alternate travel plans if you need to.

Road trips can be a lot of fun, but they can also be nightmarish if things don't go according to plan. Taking even just a couple of hours to make sure you have your ducks in a row before hitting the road can save you a lot of time and trouble while you're on your trip.

Brought to you by Palmer Dodge Georgia.

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