Ask The Expert: Top 3 Tips to prepare for a road trip

Karen Pichette

Summer road trips were something I always looked forward to growing up. My favorite is driving through Colorado and the great Southwest, and stopping at many of the national parks. Here are a few tips I’ve learned and recommend in preparing for your upcoming road trip:

Prepare your vehicle.

Have your car checked out by a qualified technician to be sure it’s safe for the road. Many AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities will perform a 20-point safety inspection with the purchase of another service, such as an oil change. If you plan on renting a car, Hertz offers many AAA member benefits, such as special member pricing, free additional AAA member drivers, free child safety seat, and more.

Plan your route.

Get a customized routing (TripTik) planned with our travel counselors, such as myself, at any of our AAA stores. We’ll plan the best route, and point out attractions and road construction. AAA TourBooks are a great resource for AAA-Approved hotels and restaurants. I know it sounds old-school, but paper AAA maps are good to see the whole picture of your trip and don’t require Internet access.

Make reservations.

We travel counselors, can help you make hotel reservations before you go; however, if you’re not sure where you might stop, you can always call 866-AAA-SAVE (it’s on the back of your membership card) to obtain last-minute hotel reservations at a AAA discount.

Of course, if you prefer to plan your trip yourself, be sure to use the planning tools on the AAA Mobile app or online at

Karen Pichette is a member service counselor in the AAA Boulder store and has been in the travel industry for more than 30 years. Contact Karen at 1933 28th St., Boulder; 303-442-0242; or