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10+ tips and tricks for an excellent road trip this summer

Lindsay Guentzel's columns aim to make life easier.
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Road trips are all the rage right now. That’s according to AAA, which estimates 47 million Americans plan to travel over the Fourth of July holiday, nearly 93 percent planning to do so by car. It’s the highest on record for the holiday.

If you’re hitting the road -- this weekend or at any point over the summer -- expect higher-than-normal prices on hotels and rental cars, both seeing spikes in prices due to demand.

AAA estimates it'll help an estimated 460,000 motorists over the holiday weekend, which is something you definitely want to avoid. Here are basic reminders and tips that can help you make your time on the road as smooth as possible.

10 things you should consider when going on a road trip

  1. Get your car checked out before any travel.
  2. Notify your bank or credit card of any unusual travel so you don’t get pinged for fraudulent activity.
  3. Make sure your house is secure and that friends/family/neighbors know about your plans and how to get ahold of you in an emergency.
  4. Communicate your travel plans with any hotels you have reservations with. We’re heading out to Colorado next week and will likely not get to our hotel until after 8 p.m. I’ve already spoken with the front desk at the hotel to communicate our delayed arrival.
  5. Get gas every time you stop
  6. Carry some cash
  7. Make a packing list and check it twice
  8. Pack snacks and water
  9. Bring a wine key because stays at non-hotels probably won't have one
  10. Garbage receptacle with extra bags and a laundry bag

Other good ideas for the trip

Pack a bag specifically for essentials: A carry-on suitcase can be incredibly beneficial when traveling from hotel to hotel. If you are stopping for the night, pack a separate bag with only the items you need for the night and the morning. Things like essential toiletries, pajamas, phone charger, a book. By having a separate bag for essentials, you don’t have to dig through the suitcase to get settled in for the night.

Utilize the web: Roadtrippers.com is an awesome website that helps you find fun, unique things to do along your route. You can set mileage guidelines — like you’re not willing to drive more than 15 minutes off the route — and even specific topics — like Spooky Places or Scenic Points — to find the perfect places to stop out on the road.

Hotel Tonight is an app that finds you last-minute deals on hotels. It sends you all of the last-minute deals for the area you are in and even has special deals you can unlock as you move around the country.

Download music, audio books, podcasts, maps to phone: The day before you head out, connect your phone to Wi-Fi and make sure everything you want for the trip is downloaded to your phone, just in case you find yourself without great cell service. It will save you any extra headaches.

Like Lindsay’s work? Find her recipes, blogs and videos here on Bring Me The News or on her website. Or follow her on social media @LindsayGuentzel on Twitter and Facebook.

You can also email her directly at lindsay@bringmethenews.com.

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