Many Clevelanders remember checking in with broadcast legend Neil Zurcher before planning any summer road trips in the Buckeye State.
Zurcher’s one tank trip series highlighted Ohio tourist attractions both on and off the beaten path and opened our eyes to fun places we never knew existed.
But some of us had bigger plans. Sorry, Neil.
The road trip is an American rite of passage.
The height of the road trip occurred in the 50’s and 60’s, when Route 66 connected the coasts and automobiles were finally ready to accommodate the demands of interstate travel. As a result, we got pretty good at planning out extended car trips.
Then airlines got good at planning out ways to make those trips more quickly, and affordable. Americans became less likely to hop in the cruiser and go coast to coast. But post-9/11 travel is different, and with long TSA checks and security risks at airports being a concern, many American drivers are returning to the road. But that return comes with less experience at planning for the trip. We know many of the things we should be doing, like checking our vehicle before we go, but what about the things we SHOULDN’T be doing on a road trip? Here are some things you don’t want to do if you are hitting the road!
1. DON’T assume there’s another gas station at the next exit.
E doesn’t mean “Eh- we can probably make it.” Those fuel sensors are in place for a reason, don’t let your car run below half a tank. It improves vehicle performance, but also keeps you on the road instead of walking down the freeway with a gas can hoping to hitch a ride!
2. Carry cash, DON’T rely on cards!
Not everyone is as tech savvy as we are here in Cleveland! In some rural areas they don’t have sophisticated card readers at the pump. If you are on the road, you need some “just in case” cash… just in case!
3. DON’T wait to make accommodations.
While apps have made it easier to make accommodations on the go, you don’t want to rely on there being an AirBnB available in rural South Dakota at 11pm when you get tired of driving. Plan ahead. This doesn’t have to impact your spontaneity – it just guarantees that when you are ready to rest, you’ve got a place to do that!
4. Bring water, but NOT water bottles.
You’ll want water to drink, but you’ll also want to bring some for auto emergencies. But remember, you are going to celebrate America, not destroy it! Water bottles are a huge source of pollution, so bring some reusable bottles, coolers, and thermoses instead of disposable plastic bottles.
5. Download maps – DON’T depend on internet signals.
GPS is great, but it only works if you have internet. In rural areas, that isn’t always guaranteed. You don’t need to print out maps, (again, you’re going to look at trees, not chop them down!) but you can download them into your phone so you have them when you need them.
These are just a few things to avoid on the road this summer! There are more, but you’re on your own for the rest. The most important thing? Stop by your local Rad Air Neighborhood Car Care Center and let our pros take your car through a summer maintenance visit before hitting the highway! Why risk it? Download the coupon below and get our $39.95 Summer Maintenance coupon! Safe travels – we’ll see you soon!
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