Today, the Millenials are picking up where Gen X left off, and Gen Z is about to take the reins and start running the show, but it wasn’t too long ago that the Baby Boomer generation was in charge, and living the American dream.
A big part of classic America is the road trip, and Baby Boomers were a part of the great generation that saw classic Route 66 in its prime, from Chicago to California.
Today, taking a road trip isn’t as romantic as it once was when you could jump in a Mustang convertible, roll the top down and head off into the sunset to all points west. Today, you have a lot of people on the roads, and drivers are more distracted by their phones than they are by the passing scenery.
The key to a successful road trip today is to stay safe while driving, and here we’ll outline a few tips for Baby Boomers who enjoy the open road now just as much as in the golden days.
The most important thing you need to do is to make sure that your vehicle is operating in pristine condition. Because the last thing that you’ll want to deal with is being stranded on the roadside.
Before you begin looking over your car, you also want to check to ensure that you have roadside assistance on your auto policy. If not, shop around and compare car insurance quotes then select a policy with this protection included.
If need be, take your vehicle to a reputable mechanic and have it looked over. Or you can do the preventative maintenance yourself if you have the know-how. The following checklist is a good starting point before embarking on any long road trip:
- Check oil and filter
- Top off all fluids
- Check tire pressure
- Check tire tread
- Inflate spare tire
- Check all turn signals and lights
- Check wipers
Once you’re satisfied with your vehicle’s performance, it’s time to get out on the open road.
Nowadays, vehicles have all the bells and whistles you can imagine, and they’re nothing like the metal death traps that people drove back in the 60’s and 70’s.
And technology has also brought along nifty little features such as onboard GPS navigation systems. Though you may prefer to rely on your GPS, there was once a time when these devices didn’t exist, and people had to navigate by road map or by stopping to ask for directions. But as a Baby Boomer, you probably already know this.
All across the country there are dead zones where smartphones won’t be able to capture a signal, and onboard GPS might not have line of sight from our friendly satellites above. If this is the case, it’s good to keep an atlas on hand in the vehicle just in case you find yourself in these areas with little services.
The roads aren’t as friendly as they once were. And where courtesy on the road was once expected from everyone, including big trucks, it’s slowly and unfortunately becoming a relic of the past.
On your road trip, you may witness several distracted drivers, plugging along with their heads down, not paying attention to the road or to the drivers around them. Smartphone technology has changed the way we drive, and as such, you need to be aware and drive defensively while traveling.
In addition to paying attention to distracted drivers, you’ll want to keep a few safety items on hand as well. This can include food and water, just in case you break down and have to wait for help to arrive, as well as road flares, a tire patching kit, and even an item for personal defense.
Just ensure that you’re keeping with local laws and ordinances that pertain to transporting personal defense items.
Maybe you’ve approached your golden years, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the open road. In fact, you’ve earned the right to enjoy yourself in retirement, and taking a road trip is the perfect way to pass the time.