5 Survival Tips for Traveling This Memorial Day Weekend
According to AAA, Memorial Day Weekend traffic is expected to be the worst it's been in decades. Luckily, there are 5 easy things you can do to make your trip go more smoothly.
Robert Sinclair with AAA says that he expects over 33 million people will be on the roads this weekend. That will result in about 350,000 rescues by AAA for dead batteries, flat tires and lock-outs. He suggests taking these simple precautions before leaving to make sure you arrive at your destination safely and on time.
1: Vary your times of travel
Friday at 5pm is when most people are expected to be hitting the road. Planning your departure earlier or later will keep you away from the worst traffic. Sinclair says that leaving early in the morning is a great idea. However, he advises against traveling in the overnight hours. While traffic will be light, there is a risk of falling asleep at the wheel for those who are not accustomed to being awake during those hours.
Damage from the harsh winter and springtime potholes can make your tires susceptible to blowouts.
2: Check your tires
Sinclair suggest that there are two important things every traveler should do before taking a road trip. The first is to make sure all of your tires are at proper pressure. Don't depend on the tire warning light on your dashboard. Grab a good pressure gauge and make sure all of your tires are inflated to the correct psi.
The second thing to look out for are tire bubbles. Damage from the harsh winter and springtime potholes can make your tires susceptible to blowouts. Running your hand along the surface of the tire looking for bubbles or welts can catch a flat just waiting to happen.
3:: Check your batteries
Car batteries have a service life of just 3 to 5 years. Extreme cold temperatures can shorten that, too. So after the long, cold winter we've had in the Hudson Valley, Sinclair suggests that drivers get their batteries checked out before going on long trips. You should also look out for white oxide that may have collected around the terminals of the battery, that's a sure sign of an impending dead battery.
Bring extra food, beverages and plenty of patience.
4: Bring a spare key
One of the most common reasons AAA customers call for a rescue is because they're locked out of the car. As a safety precaution, some modern cars can lock themselves up after a while of inactivity. If you're in an unfamiliar area and out of your routine, it's easy to forget your keys inside the vehicle. Sinclair suggest keeping the valet key or a spare in your wallet or on your person to avoid the inconvenience of being trapped outside of your car.
5: Be prepared for traffic, no matter what you do
The combination of strong new car sales and cheaper gas, along with a brutally cold and snowy winter means that record amounts of people will be heading out on the roads to take advantage of the summer kick-off. No matter what you do, you will probably run into some sort of traffic delay. Bring plenty of activities for the kids, extra food and beverages and plenty of patience. Remember, you're on vacation!