October 9th, 2019| As September gives way to October, we are excited to see the spectacular burst of color found in autumn leaves. But as lovely as the trees on our streets are, there’s nothing quite like seeing an entire forest come to life with brilliant color. If you’ve ever been tempted to hit the road to get a better view of the leaves changing, you’re not alone. Fall foliage is a major tourist attraction across the U.S., beginning in late September and continuing on through November. Areas will often see “peak” color for just a week or two out of the year, making timing very important, but even if you miss peak color, the sight can still be marvelous. If you are considering using up some of those saved vacation days this fall, there’s nothing better than a road trip to take in the amazing forests and scenic highways this country has to offer. We’ve picked some of our favorite locations, depending on where you’d like to go.
Safety Tips for RoadtrippingRoad trips can be a lot of fun, but when you are spending many hours a day in the car, there’s a lot that can go wrong, whether it’s running into debris in the road, hitting an animal, or encountering a careless driver. You can’t prepare for everything, but there’s some things you can. Use this checklist to determine what you may need before heading out to see the leaves this year.
- Get the right car for the job. Maybe that’s your own car, but maybe it’s not. If you know you are going somewhere with hiking, consider renting a vehicle with four-wheel drive. If you know you are sticking with scenic byways, maybe you’ll want to rent a convertible to better enjoy the sights.
- Get Your Vehicle Inspected. If you are taking your own car, take it to a mechanic a few days beforehand for an inspection. This will find any malfunctioning parts or parts that may be near to malfunctioning before they cause a problem hundreds of miles from home.
- Prepare for a roadside emergency. You should also have a spare tire, a jack, and a jumper kit in your trunk.
- Prepare for all other emergencies. If you get stranded, injured, or something else goes wrong, an emergency kit is good to have on hand. We suggest including items like sunblock, bug spray, bottled water and granola bars, a flashlight with batteries, a phone charger and battery pack, a Swiss Army knife or other multipurpose tool, a first aid kit, and a blanket or towel.
- Carry Cash. Between toll stations, state or national park entry fees, and remote small towns along your route, using your credit card may not always be an option.
- Plan your music ahead of time. Remote areas like state parks may cause you to lose cell phone service, which means streaming may not be possible. Plan ahead and visit the library to get CDs or download your playlists to your MP3 player ahead of time. This also means less time fiddling with the entertainment system and potentially losing control of the car.
- Have a backup map. If you use the GPS on your cell phone, you may lose your turn-by-turn directions if your cell phone signal cuts out.
- Get a good night’s sleep beforehand. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous or more dangerous than driving drunk.