TOPEKA (KSNT) – With thousands of Kansans expected to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend this year, here are some travel tips that could help you save time and money.

With more people than usual expected to be packing up their vehicles for long-distance road trips starting Memorial Day weekend, AAA is recommending several tips for people to follow that could make travel a little easier.

“Although we are projecting a sharp increase in air travel for Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer, the great American road trip remains the standard for summer vacations,” said Shawn Steward, spokesman for AAA Kansas. “Proper planning, use of helpful resources, and focusing on safety will help make road trips less stressful and more enjoyable.”

1. Highways will be busy

AAA said nearly nine in 10 travelers for the Memorial Day weekend will be driving to their destinations. This comes up to around 341,000 motorists in Kansas and 37.1 million people nationwide. Practice being patient and expect traffic congestion during peak travel times: Thursday and Friday evenings and Monday and Tuesday evenings.

2. Plan it out

Road trips are not just going from point A to point B sometimes. AAA said you can get more out of your travel plans by researching exciting places to visit while you’re heading to your destination. Find places that suit your budget to give your road trip more excitement.

3. Make sure your vehicle is ready for the road

AAA said it is important to make sure your vehicle is ready for the strain of a road trip. Consider taking your vehicle to a mechanic for a checkup. Take time to make sure your vehicle’s tires are aired up, the battery is working properly and top off the fluids.

4. Gas prices are much lower than last year

A blessing for anyone hitting the road this year is that gas prices are not as high as they used to be. AAA said state and national averages were hitting all-time record levels in June 2022 but cheaper prices at the pump this year will make it easier on people’s bank accounts.

5. AAA Emergency Roadside Service Crews are on call

AAA estimates that more than 2,200 motorists will run into vehicle troubles over the Memorial Day Weekend. Last year, AAA responded to more than 29,000 calls for help across the Sunflower State by those impacted by dead batteries, tire troubles, engine breakdowns and more.

6. Look for ways to save money

AAA offers a mobile app that identifies the least expensive gas or EV charging stations along a chosen route. Discounts and rewards through the AAA app can save you cash at many hotel chains, rental car companies and gas stations.

7. Practice safe driving

What’s a road trip worth if you and your family can’t reach their destination safely. AAA recommends practicing safe driving such as sticking with the posted speed limit, avoiding distracted driving, avoiding driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and ensuring everyone is wearing seat belts.

8. ‘Slow Down, Move Over’

This is important for those working along the highway such as emergency workers or construction workers. AAA said every state in the U.S. has a ‘Move Over’ law to protect these individuals who work so close to vehicles moving at highway speeds. Always move over a lane or slow down to a safe speed when approaching a vehicle or people on the side of the road.

9. Be aware of weather and road conditions

Keep an eye on the sky by using apps like the KSNT Storm Track Weather App. Severe weather could put a damper on any road trip so it’s important to make sure you know what to expect while traveling.

10. Prepare for the unexpected

Flat tires, vehicle breakdown or crashes can make a big difference to your travel plans. AAA recommends getting emergency kits for your vehicle just in case an emergency occurs. These can consist of: jumper cables/jump pack, basic set of tools, first-aid kit, tarp, blanket, extra medicines, phone charge, flashlight, batteries, road flares/deflectors, paper towels, gloves, water and snacks.