Road Trip Declared Americans' Favorite Vacation

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The summer travel season is officially under way, and Jiffy Lube – an industry leader in vehicle preventive maintenance – has confirmed Americans' love for the open road. According to a recent survey fielded by Jiffy Lube International, four in five Americans (78 percent) agree that road trips make the best vacations.

"Consumers love the freedom that the open road brings to their travels. Whether on a mission to find the best roadside diner in America or check a few national parks off their bucket list, road trips offer a little something for everyone," said Steven C. Ledbetter, president of Jiffy Lube International. "Jiffy Lube is here to help drivers get to their final destinations worry-free while encouraging new adventures on the road ahead."

Not surprisingly, this love for getting behind the wheel resulted in more than 80 percent of respondents sharing that they truly love their cars, with about two-thirds saying they'd rather drive across the country than fly. When it comes to road trip personalities, there is a clear divide between the "Planners" and the "Pilots."  Forty-four percent of women put themselves in the "Planner" category, noting that they prefer to ride shotgun, control the radio and take charge of the maps. Forty-three percent of men put themselves in the driver's seat, literally, classifying themselves as the "Pilots," choosing to drive and make the decisions on when and where to stop.

CULINARY JOURNEY
Whether driving along coastal New England on a quest for the best clam chowder or going on a barbecue tour of the south, food is a big part of the trip for many. Half of those surveyed parked at a restaurant along the way versus eating while on the road. Even those who prefer to pack meals and snacks try to stop and enjoy surroundings, with 30 percent of Americans saying they like to pack picnic fixings for a stop at a roadside park or other scenic spot.

ROAD TRIP STYLE
You don't always know where the road will take you or what you'll need when you get there, which can pose a problem for those looking to pack lightly. Without a strict itinerary, two in three Americans (64 percent) find packing for road trips tricky, even sharing that 67 percent always over pack since they don't have to worry about airline baggage fees, weight limitations or security restrictions.

Regardless of how much or how little one packs, however, sweats reign supreme as the road trip uniform, with forty percent opting for sweat pants and t-shirts before piling into the car. That being said, more than 50 percent of both men and women always pack one must-have fashion favorite for once they reach their destination.

WHAT YOU 'AUTO' KNOW BEFORE HITTING THE ROAD
Preparation is the key to success for summer road trips. Before hitting the road, the car-care experts at Jiffy Lube suggest five quick tips to make sure your vehicle is road-trip-ready so you can leave worry behind:

  1. Keep Fluids Flowing
    Check the levels of all vital fluids, including motor oil, coolant, transmission fluid and windshield wiper fluid, and top-off, or change fluids, as needed. Motor oil does more than just lubricate moving parts. It cools engine parts, provides protection over a wide temperature range and even helps to protect the emissions system. 
     
  2. Shine Bright
    Make sure your headlights, taillights, turn signals, parking lights and license plate lights are all working. Replace any bulbs that may have burned out and consider getting lights cleaned to remove haze and clarify the lenses. 
     
  3. Beat the Heat
    Keep a gallon of distilled water in the trunk of your vehicle. If your vehicle starts to overheat, pull over to a safe location as soon as possible. Turn off the vehicle's engine and safely raise the hood as water and/or steam could spray, resulting in injury. On modern vehicles it is important to note that cooling systems come in several configurations. The more traditional design includes a radiator with an integrated radiator cap and a coolant reservoir. Other configurations utilize a sealed radiator and pressure tank with integrated pressure cap. 

    First step, then, is to identify the locations of the coolant reservoir, radiator cap or pressure cap via the owner's manual. For vehicles so equipped, check the reservoir level and add water appropriately. If the vehicle does not include a reservoir, locate the radiator or pressure cap.  Do not remove the radiator or pressure cap until the system has cooled down completely, as injury may occur due to the release of scalding water or steam. Note, however, the system may still be under pressure even after cool down period. For optimal safety, use a towel to touch, slowly twist and remove the radiator or pressure cap, allowing access to add the appropriate amount of water.
     
  4. Get Rid of Junk in the Trunk
    Match the load rate of your vehicle (found in the owner's manual or inside the driver's side door) with the estimated weight of your family and the luggage you'll be packing for the trip. Excess weight makes the engine work harder and consume more gasoline.
     
  5. Keep Your Tires Rolling Along
    Check tire air pressure, including the spare. Over- or under-inflation can weaken your tires, cause uneven tread wear and impact your gas mileage. Many drivers think the proper tire pressure can be found on the actual tire, however, that's incorrect. Refer to your vehicle owner's manual or to a decal often found in the doorjamb or glove compartment for the proper tire pressure. Check the pressure when the tire is cold/at air temperature. Do not check the pressure after an extended drive on the highway or after driving for more than five minutes.

To ensure your vehicle is ready to hit the road, visit JiffyLube.com to find your local Jiffy Lube service center; there, you can also find oil change coupons and promotions for your next visit. For additional road trip findings and tips, please visit the Jiffy Lube Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages.