Tom Wood tips for summer travels

It’s summertime, which means you’re romanticizing about the full-family, all-American, Griswold-inspired, cross-country road trip. At Tom Wood Automotive Group, we say: Go for it!

Few moments in time present the opportunity for unexpected adventure, indelible memories and family bonding than a good ol’ fashioned drive across America’s highways. Nary a road trip story is told without a smile — even the ones that include a blown tire and unplanned overnight stay in a less-than-desirable Missouri motel. That said; we want your road trip to be a smooth one, so here are Tom Wood’s tips to doing a road trip right!

>>> Prepare your vehicle

This is all the stuff you know about, but you don’t necessarily think to do all at once. Has it been 2,500 miles since your last oil change and you’re planning a 2,000-mile round trip? Might want to get your oil changed before you go. How about your tires? If the tread looks bad now, replace the tires BEFORE your family spends the next week on the road, when vehicle safety is of utmost importance, instead of once you get back. And makes sure all four tires have the correct amount of air. It’ll do wonders for your gas mileage. Make sure your spare tire has air, too. And of course make sure all your fluids are adequately filled and you don’t have any indicator lights on. If your car’s a little older and you’re nervous about it, or you’re just hesitant to add the miles to it, consider renting a car!

>>> Gear up

Bumps in the road (both literally and figuratively) can come at any time, so it’s best to be prepared. Both you and your car need an emergency kit. Make sure the one for you and your family includes bandages, antacid, stomach relief medicine, sanitizer, gauze, ointment, aspirin and a thermometer. As for a serious vehicle emergency, be sure you bring maps, flashlights, blankets, ponchos, hand warmers, multiple days’ supply of water and food (trail mix and bars are fine), flares, jack and lug wrench, jumper cables, tire gauge, foam tire sealant or portable compressor, gloves, camera, pen and paper, and petty cash ($20 or so, in small bills). It may sound excessive, but you’re ready for anything that might come your way.

>>> Plan ahead

There’s nothing worse than a planned five-hour drive lasting eight hours. So before you go, check state department of transportation websites for major road construction, and avoid major cities between 7 and 9 am and 4 and 6 pm on weekdays. Lengthy detours and rush-hour traffic have a unique way of sucking the fun out of a day on the road.

You’re all set and ready to go! Follow the speed limits, use your turn signal, watch your blind spots, and—most importantly—have a blast exploring all of the amazing sights this beautiful country has to offer. Be sure to share your best road trip photos on the Tom Wood Facebook page and tell us how much fun you had!

And if Wally World happens to be closed when you get there, maybe just try a different local attraction that day.