Many families enjoy traveling for their yearly vacation time. Whether it is across the state or across the country, there is planning that needs to be done. Being prepared is a vital part of ensuring a family vacation goes well. The following are five things you should check and consider before you head out on your next vacation.

Consider Statistical Data for That Time of the Year

Road trips are a lot of fun but by their sheer nature can be dangerous. It is estimated that every year more than 5.5 million car accidents occur on roadways in the United States. If you are staying in your home state, be sure to check local car accident stats. And for long-distance trips, you should check to see if that particular time of year is more dangerous as far as auto accidents go. For example, Southern states may have more traffic and accident reported in the summer months, where Northern states may have more weather-related accidents and fatalities reported each year.

Watch For Scams and Cons Targeting People Traveling

As you prepare for your trip and start looking at hotels and car rentals, you may start getting ads and emails about deals related to your travel plans. Always consider these unsolicited contacts with a great deal of scrutiny as they may be simply automated marketing promotions. Marketing automation is the technology that automatically sends advertisements and messages to people who have recently searched for a similar term. This is a common method used by scammers and con artists, so you need to make sure you’re not just falling for their tricks.

Keep up With Maintenance and Inspect Vehicles Beforehand

When heading out on vacation, you will likely be using your vehicle for at least some of the trip. Whether you are driving the entire time or going to the airport or towing your vehicle for use later, you must make sure your vehicle is road-worthy. It has been estimated that nearly $60 billion worth of vehicle maintenance gets overlooked and put off on a yearly basis. This can spell disaster when you are out driving on your vacation. It is of the utmost importance that you get your car checked before a road trip, so you can keep yourself and your family safe.

Plan Back Up Options in Case of Delays or Other Disruptions

You will likely have some sort of itinerary and idea of where you will be going each day, where you plan on stopping and what you will be doing on your trip. Before you finalize those plans and head out, however, it is a good idea to come up with Plan B. Things can happen at any moment when out on the road. You may get delayed or sidelines. You may not make it to a planned stopping point on time. Road work, traffic, or weather issues may throw things off track. Having a backup plan can help reduce stress and keep the good times going, even when initial plans and ideas fall through.

Carefully Plan and Budget for All Expenses of the Trip

The final step for planning a great vacation before you ever start to travel is to consider the financial costs involved. More than just hotels and accommodations, you will need to plan for fluctuating gas prices, food expenses, sightseeing and amenities, and all other aspects of your vacation that will require you to spend money. You will need a clear idea of what your plans will cost you before you ever pull out of the driveway. Otherwise, you may get halfway through the trip and realize you cannot afford to continue any farther.

Final Thoughts on Family Travel Plan Preparations

Taking the time to think through every step of your planned vacation and to go over your travel plans several times before heading out can help ensure you and your family have an enjoyable trip. These are five critical things to check and consider before you finalize those vacation plans this year. Doing so will give you the greatest chance for a successful and memorable vacation- for all the right reasons!

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