Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time of year to pack up the car, and head to the lake, mountain, or campground with those you love. You can grill up some burgers, grab a cold drink, and dream about the upcoming summer. Most importantly, it’s a time to reflect upon the freedom to do all of these wonderful American traditions because of those who gave their lives for our country.

A Memorial Day drive

There is one not-so-wonderful aspect of Memorial Day weekend excursions, however: road travel. Yes, the Tacoma area has so many fun outdoor activities to explore—but getting there? It can be a hassle. Traffic, road closures, and long trips can put a damper on otherwise awesome plans.

Here are three quick tips to help you survive Memorial Day road travel:

  1. Get on the road early.

This one may seem obvious, but we’re talking early. We know this is a relative term, but you should aim to be at your destination by 3pm on Friday at the latest. Of course, leaving first thing on Friday morning is best. For your trip home, plan to leave on Monday, which generally sees the lightest flow of traffic.

  • Prepare the kids.

After your children’s thirtieth time of asking “are we there yet?” things can go south pretty quickly in the car. Let them know ahead of time the length of time that you’ll be in the car, being sure to pad it by at least an hour for bathroom breaks and meal stops. Bring snacks that are out of the ordinary (we’re looking at you, Oreos), books, and toys. Don’t forget to prep an epic kid-friendly road trip soundtrack. Trust us, singing along to Frozen and Moana is better than listening to whining and complaining.

  • Equip and inspect the vehicle.

This is the most important part of any road trip—vehicle prep. Top off your fluids, do an engine inspection, check your headlights and taillights, get full tank of gas, and a pack a safety/emergency kit. Finally, check your tire tread and inflation, and be sure that your luggage and barbeque sundries aren’t blocking your blind spot.

We want you and your family to have fun and stay safe this Memorial Day weekend. If you want extra assurance that your vehicle is prepared to go the distance, make an appointment at Rolf’s in Lakewood or Fife for a vehicle inspection or to get a needed service completed.