How Seniors Can Prepare the Car and Themselves for a Budget-Friendly Road Trip

A road trip to the Finger Lakes can be a fun, memorable experience, especially for seniors who are taking advantage of their post-retirement years. Hitting the open road offers a chance for a slower, more specialized vacation, and it’s a great opportunity to spend quality time with your spouse and enjoy the sights together. When it’s time to think about your travels to the Finger Lakes, however, it’s crucial to consider your car and how to prepare it for the trip, as well as how to stay safe on the road.

To help you plan the perfect road trip on your way to Sutherland House Victorian Bed & Breakfast in the Finger Lakes, here are a few tips on how to prep when you’re on a budget.

Have a clear plan

So you’ve always wanted to visit the Finger Lakes, and you’ve already booked your room at Sutherland House, but what will you do to enjoy the sites and sounds? If you’re unfamiliar with this part of New York, consider working with a specialist in traveling services who can prepare the perfect itinerary, complete with dining, sightseeing and off-the-beaten path adventures. Not only will this give you a sense of what you can do, but it will eliminate wasted stops and confusing routes.

Eliminate distractions

While smartphones can be enormously helpful while traveling, it’s never a good idea to use one while you’re behind the wheel. Distracted driving caused almost 3,000 deaths in 2018, and cell phones are a major cause of distraction for drivers of all ages. If you’re going to be using your phone for navigation during your trip, look for a dashboard mount or a Bluetooth headset so you can go hands-free in the car. You can find some great deals on necessary car gear if you shop online, so comparison-shop before you make a purchase.

Have your car checked out

It’s essential to have your car checked out thoroughly before you leave. However, there are also budget-friendly things you can do yourself, like changing the oil and air filters, which can go a long way toward helping your car stay in great shape on the road. Remember to also think about the windshield wipers, the brake pads, the battery, and the headlights. You certainly don’t want to have trouble seeing at night or in bad weather, and you definitely don’t want to have battery issues when you’re hundreds of miles from home. Get your vehicle in top condition before you leave so you won’t have to worry while you’re on the road.

Come prepared

No one ever expects to head into bad weather while traveling, but that’s the sneaky thing about snow, rain, and ice: Sometimes it comes when you’re unprepared. Think carefully about when you’ll be traveling and what the weather will be like; check reports for the days you’ll be driving, and stock your car for emergencies depending on the season. For instance, when driving along the East Coast during winter, pack blankets, bottled water, a heavy-duty flashlight, and flares. It doesn’t cost much to buy emergency items, but you’ll sure be glad you have them if you encounter an emergency.

Find all relevant paperwork

Think ahead when it comes to your vehicle’s paperwork, especially if you’re renting a car or will be driving a vehicle that is unfamiliar. Locate the user manual, the title and registration, roadside assistance forms, and any other documents you might need while you travel, and put them together in a folder in the glove compartment. It’s also a good idea to make a copy of the car key if you don’t already have one and keep it in your wallet. This will help you avoid costly drastic action–such as breaking a window or paying for a locksmith–should you lock the keys in the car.

Preparing your car–and yourself–for a road trip to the Finger Lakes doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful. Think carefully about what your needs might be during your travels and how you can avoid any issues. With a little planning, you can make sure your trip is one to remember.

When planning your next trip to the Finger Lakes, be sure to book one of the well-appointed rooms offered at Sutherland House Victorian Bed & Breakfast. Check our availability today! Special thanks to Henry Moore for contributing this article.

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