Top Tips for Spring Break Travel You Don’t Want To Miss

Spring break travel picture

 

This upcoming Spring Break, it’s all about trust.

While much of the country hibernates under a blanket of snow, freezing temperatures and a dull, brown/gray landscape, there are promising signs that all hope is not lost. Faith and experience tell us that we will one day soon smell the scent of fresh-cut grass on warm evening breezes and taste the mesquite-flavored smoke emanating from our backyard grill.

What’s a sunshine and warm-weather lover to do in the meantime? Plan for spring break 2015 of course, and instead of waiting for spring to come to you, go find it!

But before spring breakers can start enjoying that fun in the sun, shedding the multiple layers of clothes worn for months on end, and soaking up much-needed rays, they have to actually make it there first. And getting there, at least for purposes of this discussion, hinges on trust.

Sure, you know all about the basics when it comes to prepping your vehicle for a road trip – you’re a car guy or gal and certainly know your way in, under and around a vehicle.  But vehicle preparation is just one element of a successful road trip and arriving there safely and hassle-free. Here are four things to consider that just might help ensure your spring break 2015 road trip is a successful one.

1. Don’t trust GPS exclusively. Whether on your phone, dash or built-in display, GPS is great for directing us exactly where we want to be – when it works. Too often we rely exclusively on GPS without having even a basic knowledge of the general route or direction we should be heading. GPS can and does make mistakes.  It can direct us to a “road” that’s more suited for a four-wheel drive vehicle – or goat – or even closed in the winter months because of snow. The GPS signal can fail in an area that doesn’t have cell phone coverage, or when the satellites are malfunctioning or their signal is blocked, or simply because we forgot to charge our device before leaving and don’t have a way to charge it while in route. Have a backup plan by mapping out the general route before you travel or, dare I say it, by bringing a PAPER map or atlas along for the ride. That way if GPS lets you down, it doesn’t turn into an epic spring break 2015 fail on your part.

2. Don’t trust your memory. You know how to take care of your vehicle, and you know what needs to be done to ensure it’s always in top running condition and doesn’t let you down this spring break. But, do you know exactly what you did, were supposed to do or meant to do, and when? For example, you knew you were going to change the timing belt around the 100,000-mile mark, but when the odometer rolled around to that neighborhood, the weather was still bone-chilling cold and you were short on time for a for a project that demands full attention, and the ability to feel your fingers. As a result, you put off the job for a couple months. The same goes for any car maintenance project – you may have planned to do it, or thought you already did, but in reality you haven’t. You’re only human, which is why you can’t trust your memory exclusively. Instead, keep a detailed vehicle maintenance log that highlights the maintenance you’ve performed, when it was done, and when future maintenance is due, using your vehicle manufacturer’s suggested maintenance intervals as a guide, coupled with your knowledge.

3. Don’t trust that all will go according to plan. It won’t, because of a funny little think called “life.” The dashboard gas light just illuminated and there’s about 50 miles to go before you’re running on empty, but you know for sure there’s a gas station 40 miles ahead, over the state line where the prices are cheaper, so you decide not to fill up now and instead save some money for spring break 2015 festivities. Or, you know you always have a can of Fix-A-Flat in your emergency kit, so why bother checking the spare tire air pressure? What could possibly go wrong? Everything. The gas station could be out of gas, or out of business. You could experience two flat tires at the same time and only have one can of emergency tire inflator. No matter what your plan is, or how good it seems, always have a backup plan that you can rely on.

4. Trust your intuition. That “gut feeling” is more than just a hunch. Researchers have shown that intuition is actually our subconscious mind’s way of storing, retrieving and processing information that helps us avoid potentially harmful or dangerous situations. Maybe you don’t like the look of the single lane road ahead or the neighborhood you’re driving through or even the threatening sky. Perhaps something (other than your GPS or co-pilot) is telling you you’re traveling in the wrong direction or already missed your turn, but you just can’t put your finger on the feeling. Trust it, it’s your intuition trying to send you a message. Just because you can’t fully explain or rationalize the feeling you may be experiencing doesn’t mean it should be ignored.

By knowing what to trust, and what not to trust, you can enjoy your spring break destination and the journey there, instead of sitting at home, cursing Old Man Winter.

Editor’s note: for spring break travel and maintenance tips, visit Advance Auto Parts.

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