Road Trip season is officially underway and these means the kids are bouncing up and down ready for an adventure. Road Trips are a fun way to reconnect with your kids before your get to your destination, but If you’re not prepared they can go downhill fast. There’s not much we can do to stop the “Are we there yet? “ questions, but with these tips we can make sure you and your family are prepared and equipped to drive with minimal distractions.
- Make sure you car had a recent check-up and the tires are up to the recommended pressure, your oil is good to go, filters recently changed, wipers are up the job, and essential fluids have been topped off. When’s the last time you’ve had your A/C checked? A long road trip is a lot of stress for your car as you go up and down elevations, venture over back roads full of dust and debris, tires heat up and cool down, and the A/C is working overtime to keep everyone comfortable. Start off on the right foot with a freshly maintained car.
- Pack strategically so all your mirrors are visible and the load is equally distributed. Think about your kids comfort levels on the drive before you load the extra pillows and blankets under the luggage. If you like the A/C up on high, the kids are bound to speak up and start complaining they’re cold at some point. Small crib sized blankets or throw blankets are the best for road trips and small enough that each kid can have their own.
- Charge all electronics devices. Let’s be honest, today’s kids want their devices and it’s best to make sure they’re fully charged before you hit the road, and any movies or games are pre-downloaded so you’re not racking up data charges.
- Have a backup plan. Depending on the age of your children and what digital activities they’re into, the devices may not last long. You can either
- Bring chargers with splitter ports so everyone can recharge their devices (be careful your unplugging these when the car is off so your battery isn’t drained).
- Or you can bring back some great car trip games from our childhood, like the license plate game, I spy, 20 Questions, The singing game, or hangman. The kids (especially teens) may resist at first, but the whole gang eventually gets on board and has a good laugh. For more game ideas visit Minitime
- Have snacks and drinks ready ahead of time. You can control what the kids have in the car and save your vacation money for souvenirs instead of gas station snacks. Be careful how much your little ones have to drink, or plan ahead for where the rest stops and potty breaks will be. It’s also a great idea to keep the snacks within easy reach for the passenger or an older child so you’re not taking your eyes of the road to pass snacks around or open juice boxes. For vehicles with the third row seating, check out this bucket pulley system. If you tried this or know of someone who has, let us know how it worked out.
- Road Trip clean up – Your family road trip was a great experience and now that you’re home everyone wants to just run inside and crash. You probably don’t even want to see the car for the next 24 hours. Not so fast, before you call it quits, make sure to unload your car and remove any snacks or remnants thereof. There’s nothing worse than coming back to the car for work and smelling 2 day old gross food. If you want to really take care of your car, schedule a cleaning appointment to remove any sand, dust, bug debris from your car and wash off road grime. It sounds trivial, but when protecting the life of your car, trust us these things matter.