You want to see the world! Or at least the eastern side of the good ol’ US of A. And for the biggest majority, that means packing up the tribe and hitting the highway to see what’s in store!
But before hitting the road, you want to consider a few things to set yourself up for success.
A car packed with cranky children and adults is a nightmare and one that could’ve been avoided with some minor preparation.
Here are 8 great tips to make your road trips terrific! So buckle up and check it off and let the good times roll!
1. Car maintenance
Obviously, you want to maintain your ride before you hit the road, but don’t overlook these little things that will make a huge difference: tire pressure, windshield washer fluid, and getting an oil change. These three things will all save you time and money on the road by helping to keep your car operating at a safe capacity at all times. You may not realize how precious a clear windshield is until yours has met one too many insects on the highway. This might be a good time to consider upgrading to full coverage insurance as well. One small mistake could really set you and the rest of your summer plans back several steps!
Perhaps you or your crew each have their own smartphone loaded with Netflix itching for a chance to binge-watch your favorite series. However, smaller children probably don’t and if you have a data plan for your preteen, you may have to think up some other options. Audiobooks and travel DVD players are a good option, but consider a road trip bingo board (these can be found at Dollar Tree or printed up by you parents and passed out) or coming up with your own fun family car game. Just take a little time to consider it before the big day so you won’t hear I’M BORED thirty-eight times a mile.
With snacks, there are three things to think about while planning: safety, satisfying, accessible. When it comes to kids and toddlers, keep in mind that you don’t want to give them anything that is easily choked on, such as lollipops or popcorn. The kids might feel cramped or uncomfortable cooped up in the car for hours and hours. This is why some suggest that it’s best not to fight the broccoli battle while traveling down the highway. Of course, you’ll want to pick healthy snacks, but pick ones they’ll enjoy that you don’t have to fight about. And be sure whatever snacks you plan, be sure to package them in a way that is easily accessible by passengers. It might even pay to give each passenger his or her own bag of treats that they can serve to themselves.
4. Planned stops
Fatigue can set in on long trips and while your passengers may get to catch a cat nap, stops need to be planned for the driver to recharge. It might seem like you’re wasting time or making the journey longer, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Take advantage of rest stops or plan on stopping every few hours inside a city off the highway. This may add a whole new dimension to your trip and take you on adventures all their own!
5. Emergency kits
In the insurance business, preparedness is key, but not everyone is advanced planning-minded! Try to think of all the things that could possibly ruin your trip and set up some “insurance” of your own. Flat tire? Be sure that you have a spare and the correct jack! Cell phone dead? Be sure you remember your charger or an extra battery charger that doesn’t require the car’s battery to work. Flashlights. Water. There is a myriad of things that could set you back. It would be very advantageous to take a few minutes and pack a small travel bag of “just in case” emergency items. Go all out. If you can think of it, prepare for it.
6. First Aid Kits
Of course, you can’t forget about a first aid kit. Today it’s easy to go to the nearest department store and pick up a prepackaged kit, but it’s highly likely you have all the necessities in your own medicine cabinet also. Bandages, eye drops, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer, and aspirin packed into a cosmetic bag is really enough to take care of most minor emergencies.
In the digital era, it’s highly likely that you will use GPS to arrive at your final destination, but that doesn’t discount the use of a traditional map or atlas. It’s often hard to see the bigger picture on a digital screen from point A to point B if you’re traveling a substantial distance. An atlas can give you a bigger picture and provide you with an easy view of rest areas and attractions along the way. Children also enjoy looking at maps to see where they’ve traveled. Bringing back tradition could be a great parent-child teaching opportunity!
8. Easily forgettable essentials
Toiletries, toilet paper, paper towels, extra baggies in case of car sickness, medications, cash for tolls, earbuds or headphones, DVDs for the DVD players, sunglasses, sunblock, necessary identification up to and including your proof of vehicle insurance. Thankfully, if your agent is from Infuse Insurance, you can have a copy of your insurance sent to you digitally while you’re traveling.
That’s it! You’re totally going to rock summer!
These tips are practical and cheap and will have you on the road to happiness in no time! Just remember to wear your seat belt, drive safely, and rest assured you, your family, and your ride is completely covered!