The Midwest is a great place to take a road trip. In Illinois, tourism is reaching pre-recession levels as more people are saving money by taking close-in trips, according to ChicagoTribune.com. Your family can also enjoy a low-cost, fun vacation by taking a road trip through the Midwest and maybe even stay at a comfy Inn or other accommodating affordable place if camping isn't what you're interested in. However, road trips can sometimes be stressful because a lot of things can go wrong. You can get lost, have car trouble, and run the risk of coming home to unwelcome surprises. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of running into trouble. Check out these five ways you can make your Midwest road trip worry free.
1. Sign Up for Identify Theft Protection
Before you pack, before you buy a map or even decide which camping location you're going to hit first, sign up for identity theft protection. More than 11 million people who travel become identity theft victims annually, reports SunPrairieStar.com.
Smarter Travel recommends getting identity theft protection, such as Lifelock.com to monitor your credit and offer support if identify theft occurs, buying you well-deserved peace of mind.
2. Pre-Plan Your Road Trip
Guidebooks have a large supply of pre-planned routes that include major road trips across several Midwestern states and short trips appropriate for a regular or long weekend. Squidoo recommends a route that takes travelers across nine Midwestern states and hits several major cities, such as Milwaukee, Chicago and Indianapolis. The route balances major urban locations with several national parks and beautiful scenery. Using a route that is already mapped out saves you the stress of trying to put a trip together and estimating how long it will take to reach each destination.
3. Get Your Car Checked
Before taking any road trip it is wise to have your car serviced and checked for any problems. You do not want to discover your car has a major issue when you are hundreds of miles from home. Have your tire pressure checked, your oil changed and check your service manual to make sure you are not behind on maintenance. It would not be a bad idea to get some jumper cables and check the status of your spare tire too. Calling your insurance company to add roadside assistance or getting a AAA membership before you leave can save you a lot money and trouble if you do end up with car trouble. This membership may even save you money on hotels.
4. Choose Credit, Not Debit
When booking your hotel room, reserving a cozy suite at an Inn or pre-paying for any tours or events, use your credit card. Using your credit card instead of your debit card gets you peace of mind knowing that in the event that you are overcharged or get charged for something you later cancel, you can dispute the charge. If you use your debit card, you are out of luck if you come home and find a bill for something you did not buy.
5. Protect Your Credit
Place a fraud alert on your accounts before you leave on your road trip. It is doubtful you will be opening new accounts while on vacation, but that does not mean that someone else will not try to open one in your name. Travelers are sometimes targeted for identity theft. A fraud alert lasts for 90 days and is free. You will be notified if someone tries to pull your credit information.
The most important thing on a road trip is just to have fun and to save money while maintaining a peace of mind. You can receive a discount on signing up for a package with LifeLock if you visit RetailMeNot.com. Follow these five ways you can make your Midwest road trip worry free may not guarantee that you will get to let the good times roll, but at least you can eliminate some major sources of stress.