Travel Tips

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Travel Tips

AAA is always here to help you in case of a roadside emergency, but there are some things you can do minimize the chances of such emergencies in the first place. Use these tips before heading off on your next road trip to make sure it's memorable for all the right reasons. And, to ensure your journey goes even more smoothly, book your hotel with AAA Travel before you leave home, or even on the road. Visit our hotel-booking page or call 800-829-5448.  

Before You Leave Home

  • Car Maintenance: check your vehicle's fluid levels, belts, hoses and tires
  • Review Your Map: know where you're going and how you'll get there
  • Check Border Crossings (if applicable): WSDOT provides accurate entry wait times into Canada
  • Check For Construction: WSDOT keeps motorists up-to-date with any highway, interstate or state-route construction
  • In Case Of Emergency: pack a flashlight, first-aid kit and fire extinguisher, and always carry a cell phone
  • Secure Your Home: make your home appear lived-in, lock all windows and doors, close shades, stop newspaper delivery, have the post office hold your mail, set a light to operate on a timer, and don't mention your trip on your outgoing voice message

While on the Road

  • Keep a full gas tank as well as doors locked, windows up, safety belts buckled, and your children in properly installed safety seats
  • Stay on main roads and highways
  • Hitchhikers: don't pick them up
  • Rest stops: always go into restrooms with your children
  • Stranded driver: instead of stopping, use your cell phone or find a pay phone and notify the police; note mile marker and other identifying information
  • Fender benders: if your car is bumped by someone else, don't automatically jump out to check for damage; consider motioning the offending driver to follow you to a more public place, such as an open service station or a police or fire station
  • Traffic lights: remember to leave space in front of you so you have maneuvering room if needed

When Experiencing Car Trouble

  • Breakdown and your car can't move: get everyone out of the vehicle and onto the shoulder, safely away from traffic; if you must walk to a phone, keep your group together
  • Breakdown and your car can move: get your vehicle off the roadway, onto the shoulder and away from guardrails; once safely off the road, stay inside your vehicle until a police officer or AAA road service vehicle arrives
  • Signs for help: raise your hood, tie a white cloth to a door handle or use reflective triangles
  • Good samaritan: if someone approaches to help, roll down your window enough to ask him or her to call police
  • Do not ride with strangers: be wary if someone is overanxious to help
  • Attention called to trouble: if someone motions that you have a flat tire or your vehicle is smoking, either don't stop until he or she has left or try to find a service station or populated place