4 Tips to Make Summer Travel Easier

June 23, 2015

summer trip

We know that summer travel can be stressful, but don’t worry – we’re here to help. According to AAA, the 4th of July is the busiest summer travel holiday with more than 5 million Americans hitting the road. Whether you’re traveling by train, plane, or automobile, it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. That’s why we’ve put together some common-sense tips to help you save time, money, and preserve your sanity while on the move this summer. We hope these tips will make your journey as smooth and stress-free as possible!

Plan ahead

Summer vacation is finally here and for many families, that means hitting the road or taking to the skies. However, traveling during peak season can be stressful, especially for those with small children. While many airlines no longer offer pre-boarding for families, there are still ways to make your airport experience smoother. Save time by checking in online before heading to the airport and take advantage of play areas for children that are often available. For a more comfortable experience, consider purchasing day passes to airline lounges, which typically offer WiFi and other amenities.

If you’re traveling by car, plan your route in advance with plenty of rest stops and consider taking enjoyable side trips to break up the monotony for kids. Yelp and other downloadable apps can help you find restaurants and gas stations along the way. And don’t forget to pack a cooler with healthy snacks to save money and avoid high-priced rest stop junk food.

While unexpected obstacles can always arise, making plans and having backup options in place can help reduce stress levels for everyone. And when all else fails, a sweet treat like ice cream can make any travel day a little sweeter.

Be early

To make the most of your travels during the busy summer season, it’s important to remember that arriving early can make all the difference. Whether you’re heading to the airport or hitting the road, plan to leave with plenty of time to spare. This will allow you to account for potential delays such as long check-in lines, security backups, and even last-minute gate changes. This is especially important if you are traveling with children or a larger group. By leaving early, you can also avoid heavy traffic and ensure that your children are not tired or cranky later in the day. So, set your alarm a little earlier and get a head start on your adventure!

Prepare your vehicle

Ensuring your vehicle is properly maintained and prepared can help you avoid frustrating breakdowns and issues while on the road. To start, check your tires, including the spare, to ensure proper inflation and good tread. It’s also important to have a qualified professional inspect your car thoroughly, checking the engine, battery, hoses, belts, fluids, A/C, brakes, lights, and wipers. Don’t forget to pack an emergency roadside kit that includes jumpers, a flashlight, and plenty of bottled water. This is especially important when traveling through remote desert areas, like the southern I-10 corridor from Texarkana to L.A.

Focus on the essentials

Overpacking can be a major source of travel stress, so it’s important to pack wisely. If you’re flying, keep in mind that some airlines charge for each checked bag as well as oversized carry-on luggage, so it pays to keep your belongings to a minimum. Don’t forget to leave room for souvenirs! When packing, focus on essentials like sunscreen and bug repellent for outdoor activities. If you’re traveling by car, remember to keep your rear view mirror clear and avoid overloading your vehicle to save on fuel. When selecting clothing items, choose versatile pieces that can be worn multiple times and complement other items. Simplifying your packing list will not only help you avoid stress, but it will also give you peace of mind during your travels. And if you’re a book lover, consider bringing a Kindle instead of a bulky novel – just don’t forget your charger!

Alliance Direct Benefits members have an abundance of ways to save money on summer travel related items and activities. Members are offered roadside assistance in the US and Canada 24/7 with coverage up $125 per incident. Rental car discounts are also available from Alamo, Budget, and Enterprise, and can also save over 50% on Annual fees with Zipcar. The Hotel Savings Program will save you an average of 26% at over 150,000 hotels worldwide. We even offer theme park discounts! For more information and to become an Alliance member today, visit the Alliance website or call us at 1-800-733-2242 (M-F, 7am-5:30pm Central Time).

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