Tips for an epic summer road trip

(BPT) – The heat is almost on so now’s the time to plan for a cool summer road trip. Whether you’re going with friends or family, near or far, there’s nothing like hitting the road for an epic summer trip. National parks, the coast, big cities, Main Street USA and fun/silly tourist destinations are all waiting. The road is yours.

Once you’ve scoured the map and picked your perfect trip, take some time to make sure you’re prepared.

Here are some quick tips to help ensure a smooth journey:

• Plan ahead … but don’t be afraid to be spontaneous and go off the beaten path.

• Download road-friendly apps like Waze and Gas Buddy.

• Check weather sites to see what your driving conditions will be.

• Fill a cooler with drinks and bring lots of snacks.

• Brush up on road trip games: Create fun memories by keeping everyone in the car engaged.

• Put your phone/tablet on double-duty: Use its camera to capture pictures of the trip and load up some movies, music or games.

• Try local eateries as opposed to chain restaurants.

• Bring a first-aid kit. Just in case.

• Take turns driving so everyone stays alert.

• Make sure your vehicle is in road-worthy shape: Check the oil and all fluids, battery, spark plugs, air filter and tires … especially the tires.

‘The only parts of the vehicle that actually touch the road’

‘Definitely check your tires, especially if you’re heading out on a summer road trip,’ said Alan Holtschneider, director of marketing for Yokohama Tire. ‘They influence the braking, steering, comfort, handling, safety and fuel efficiency. Remember, they are also the only parts of the vehicle that actually touch the road.’

Holtschneider said whether your summer journey takes you to Disney World or the Grand Canyon, it’s important to have the right tires for the trip. ‘For example, if you have a luxury SUV or crossover, a tire like the Geolandar X-CV fits the bill. It’s long-lasting, provides strong traction, smooth handling and has a hush-quiet ride – perfect for cruising in style.’

Even after your summer road trip, Holtschneider strongly suggests keeping your tires properly maintained year-round.

Try these tire safety tips:

• Check tire pressure at least once a month – this takes about five minutes. Refer to the vehicle’s owner’s manual or placard on the driver’s door to determine proper tire pressure. Tire pressure should be checked when the tires are cold.

• Check your tread depth by placing a penny upside down into a tread groove. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tire’s tread has worn down to the legal limit and you need to buy a new tire.

• Tires should be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch, the lowest legal limit. It’s best to replace them before they reach 2/32 for optimal performance, especially in bad weather.

OK, now you’re ready to roll.

For more tire care and safety tips, visit

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