Summer Vacation: Road Trip 2019

Monday, May 20, 2019

Where To Go On Four Wheels This Summer

 

Summer is almost here and what a better way to spend a little time in the sun than to travel. Travel to those places you don’t normally see. Want a cheap way to see the United States? Or even the state in which you live? Go by car. You will see the beautiful landscapes and hidden gems that you might miss if you fly in a plane. The point is, road trips are a really great way to travel in the summertime. Don’t have the best car to road trip in? You can always rent. Renting a car might mean getting extra coverage. Adding this cheap insurance will be a great way to travel stress free.

If you are heading across the country for a month long hiatus, or perhaps doing a long weekend in your state, getting the best cheap car insurance is key. Not only will you want to feel safe when traveling, but any added costs such as an accident or flat tire would be covered. Budgeting for a road trip might save you money, but getting a large bill from some unexpected “thud” to your vehicle is never cheap.

Travel Basics

Look at the bright side of life and travel in a great car to a fabulous destination this summer. Whether you love the hot whether or need to escape it, a car can get you where you need to go. Van, truck or small SUV, the majority of your fun will be spent in your car. Make sure you are organized and have everything you need before setting out on this grand adventure.

Before you begin to plan, pack and get excited, you will need to invest in a great cheap car insurance plan. The best way to do this is by talking with a broker who understands the process. Get in touch with an agency to represent you, or simply get a few free online quotes. However you shop for auto insurance, make sure you compare multiple policies for the best deal.

Before You Start Your Trip

Before you get into the romanticized version of a road trip, make sure everything is in order. And when I say everything, I mean the things that will keep you safe financially and mentally.

Organize your cheap car insurance by calling your broker. Make sure you have roadside assistance. If you are taking your own car on this road trip, bump up your coverage to cover everything you want including collision and towing. Most of the time you can add things to your policy and they won’t cost you that much more. Do what feel comfortable to you, but know that it is better to be over insured when traveling in unknown places.

Here is what you will need to be covered for a road trip in your own car:

  • Bodily Injury Liability Limits: $30,000 per occurrence/ $15,000 per person
  • Property Damage Liability Limits: $5,000 per occurrence

These cheap car insurance options will only protect the other party involved in a crash. There are other options which will protect your and your own vehicle.

  • Medical coverage for you and your passengers- Medical coverage can make a huge difference for your security and safety.
  • Towing and roadside assistance- You may not only need this for a crash, but if you break down. Roadside assistance can save you time and money.
  • Rental reimbursement- You could be covered or reimbursed for a rental car when you are involved in a crash.
  • Uninsured Motorist coverage- this will make sure that you are still covered even if someone without insurance hits you.
  • Full glass coverage- this is additional coverage for your car to cover glass windows and doors.
  • Loan/lease coverage- when you have a loan or a lease out on a vehicle, your coverage needs to be different. Most of the time a full policy is required.
  • Collision coverage so that your own car is covered in case of an accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage will cover things like theft and minor damages not incurred in an accident.

Car Essentials

Organize your car with the necessities you might need. For instance, put in a full first aid kit. Make sure you purchase a fairly new one so that none of the medication or ointment is expired. Also, make sure you have jumper cables and a full flat tire kit. Even if you have roadside assistance, you might need it. There are many parts of the country where there is no cell phone reception. If you are driving long stretches of road and there is no cell tower in sight, make sure you bring a tire tool kit.

Not only will you need to pack your bags with clothes and personal essentials, but another bag for extras.

Here is what should go in your “extras” bag:

  • A towel for spills, leaks and a lap mat for in-car eating
  • A Flashlight which can come in handy at night
  • Water bottles. You never know how far apart food, drinks or a gas station will be. Bring a pack of water just in case.
  • A 1 gallon gasoline tank, filled. Again when traveling across the country or state, you could come across large stretches of highway with no gas in sight. Bring it as a precaution. Be careful how you store it. Always keep it in the trunk and away from food or anything flammable.
  • A blanket for warmth. And a pillow for good measure. If you are the kind of person who likes those road trip naps, take advantage of getting those zzz’s out on the highway.

Planning Where To Travel

The best part of planning your road trip, is dreaming about the many places you will discover. When you start this journey, make sure whoever is attending this trip of a lifetime with you, is present and is on the “same page” as you. The last thing you want on a fun car ride is disagreement and tension. So have a family meeting or a couples dinner and map out, in detail, where you want to go and what you want to see. The first thing you should make clear is how many miles everyone feels comfortable driving in a day. Are you more the type of person who wants to get there quickly? Or do you like to stop at a million places along the way? Either way, talk about this and come up with some sort of agreement. Maybe you drive no more than three hundred miles in one day and make no more than 8 stops.

Second, plan out your major destinations. For instance, if you are wanting to drive up and down the state of California, pick 5 cities you want to visit and stay. Research these cities and understand what they offer. Give everyone on the trip a little taste of what they deserve. Are you into the big city night life? Maybe stop in San Fransisco and have a fun night on the town. Or, perhaps you are an outdoor adventure seeker. Head to Yosemite and take in some beautiful hikes with friends. When traveling in summer, anything is possible,. Roadways are clear and the sun is shining. So get out and make it happen.

When and What

Dates are important when planning for the road trip of your dreams. Know the wether cycles in the places you plan to see. You don’t want to get stuck in the Mojave Desert in the middle of summer. You also wouldn’t want to hit up Lake Tahoe on 4th of July weekend. Not only are the crowds horrible, but prices sky-rocket.

There are deals you can make on hotels and lodging ahead of time, so planning a summer road trip in early spring is a great idea. When you are driving, make sure you take a camera or phone with you to document the beautiful surroundings. You might even invest in a Polaroid camera. This instant way of producing photos is fun and easy. Make sure you pick a few fun things to do in every destination. If you are traveling as a family, agree a head of time what these mini-adventures will be so that you won’t waste precious time deciding on the spot.

The best part about planning a travel trip by car, is knowing that you have the freedom to mix things up if you wish. Unlike flying, you can be somewhat flexible. Do you want to pull over for the night in a cool town you notice along the way? Do so. But be sure to keep track of time, money and mileage. Getting too far off of the beaten path may leave you with less options for your trip later.

Budget

The most important part of panning any sort of trip or vacation is the budget. If you have $1,000 to spend total, count on spending at least one-third of that on lodging. Food can get pricey as well. Decide how many meals you can afford to eat out and how many snacks you should pack to save on restaurant expenses. Gas is probably your biggest demon when planning a road trip. It’s best to take a hybrid car or a car that is less expensive to fill. Driving a Yukon Denali 400 miles will eat at your budget. But a Camry Hybrid will leave you smiling from ear to ear at the pump. Try getting gas at the cheapest possible location. Are you a Costco member? Fill up at any Costco you can find. Maybe you have a rewards car with Shell, or Chevron. Think about this when planning. You will want to round up whenever possible in your budget. Let’s say you think your food should cost around $500 for a three day trip for your family. Add another $100 on for tip and good measure. That way when the kids ask for dessert, you don’t have to deny them

To rent or not to rent, that is the question…

Many people choose to rent a car for any trip. Why? Well, because some think it is better to put the mileage and wear and tear on someone else’s car. Car rentals seem to have fairly good gas mileage and have a policy coverage that is fairly good. When you rent a car, you have the option to add insurance. Do this! You need to insure yourself and the liability you hold when renting a vehicle. Most of the time your normal car insurance policy will cover a rental car.

This covers:

  • Liability
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision

But there is extra coverage that the rental company offers you to obtain as well.

  • Collision/loss damage waiver¬†(also known as an LDW or CDW) isn’t technically insurance. If you damage the rental car, this waiver may help cover the cost of repairing it. The waiver typically excludes coverage for damage caused by speeding or driving on unpaved roads.
  • Liability Coverage¬†will protect you, the person renting the car from being liable for damage to another vehicle.
  • There is also Personal Affects Coverage which covers your personal belongings
  • Personal Accident Insurance will help with you and your passengers medical coverage if injured while in the rental vehicle.

Most likely, if you already have a great cheap car insurance plan, that has the maximum coverage, you are safe. Otherwise, buy the added insurance from the rental company. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

 

Top Places To Travel By Car

  • In California, Starting in San Fransisco, head South to Beautiful Monterey. You will stop to see beautiful fields of agriculture, blue ocean tides and lavish homes. Take 17 mile drive which stretches from Monterey through Carmel-By-The-Sea. Take in an expensive meal in town and enjoy great weather along the way. There are many vista points where you can pull over and capture once in a lifetime pictures.
  • In Flagstaff, Arizona, start off in the college town of Flagstaff. Head through desert forest North to the Grand Canyon. You can drive from one end of the Grand Canyon to the next. This whole trip could easily be done in a three day weekend. Make sure you take note of the changing scenery as you drive from lush green high-altitude, to a vast canyon.
  • The Florida Keys. Driving from the mainland Florida along the vast amounts of islands just south can be breath taking. More than 40 bridges connect these islands. Stop at the local diners and try crocodile or a Pina Colada. Take in the white sand and the vast light blue ocean scene. Head there before hurricane season, and make sure you are prepared for crowds. Island living is rich and you may never want to return home.

 

No matter where you intend to take off to this summer, remember to enjoy. And for you to truly enjoy, you must first plan. Having great car insurance, enough money in the bank, and a solid vehicle will make for a trip you could never forget. Leave your worries behind for a few days or even a month. Use your own car or rent one instead. Either way the road will take you to where you want to go. Just remember to always wear sunscreen.

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