Road Trip Tips & Safety
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There’s nothing I love more than a long road trip. I love the driving, I love the riding, and most importantly, I love the family togetherness!
When it comes to long road trips, I’d like to think I’m a pro. I know what works, what doesn’t and how to keep my sanity. I thought I would share with you, what I have learned over the years (and I have learned a lot!). I hope you enjoy (and find useful) the following tips. I am sharing my favorite road trip tips to not only survive a road trip but to have fun and make memories while doing so.
Every passenger has a backpack filled with his/her essentials. Of course, adult backpacks are much different from the kiddo backpacks. My backpack is filled with everything I need to keep me occupied, which also allows my husband keep his sanity.
- Chargers (phone, e-reader, tablet)
- Extra pair of sunglasses
- Granola bars
- At least 1 hardcopy book
- Crossword and sudoku puzzles
- Knitting needles/yarn
- Gum and/or mints
- Reusable Water Bottle
I keep it simple. Just enough to keep me entertained but not too much that I’m regretting overpacking. For the kiddos, it is different. Their backpacks are usually stuffed to the gills, but I’ve learned that I’d rather have too much than not enough!
Paige’s backpack will include:
- Kid size neck pillow and blanket
- iPod and chargers
- Several hard copy books
- Activity books
- Self contained games – I usually try to include something brand new or something that only comes out when we travel so it’s not a typical toy. My favorite are the FindIt’s or you can find Busy Pouches on Etsy. If you are creative, make your own busy pouches!
- Water bottle
- Very limited snacks (I will keep control of the snacks, thank you very much!)
For my teenage son, I usually leave the backpack up to him but I’ll toss one of my Kindle’s preloaded with books he’d enjoy, and an extra pair of earbuds.
From experience, I recommend leaving crayons and markers at home during road trips. They are messy and seem to cause unnecessary stress.
When traveling with kids, it’s a good idea to be prepared. That’s why I always keep a bag (I’m not plugging, but just stating that those ThirtyOne totes are amazing for this!) with pockets filled with items that might be needed. These can include:
- Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer
- Clorox Wipes
- Baby Wipes
- A roll of paper towels
- Shout Wipes
- Tylenol, antinausea, Pepto
- Quart and Gallon size Baggies
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Like a Boy Scout, the key is to be prepared. Don’t be caught off guard!
Once on the road, plan to stop…and make the best of it!
We usually bring along a football or soccer ball to kick around on a grassy location. It gets the circulation flowing, releases some pent up energy and it is family time well spent!
I like to bring our own snacks, as opposed to convenience store snacks. Doing so saves us money and I can customize as to the traveler’s needs. Fluids are also a must but remember – the more they intake fluids, the more you are going to have to stop!
I much prefer traveling on the interstate but when traveling on the highway, we can take advantage of the Historical Markers (or as my husband calls them Hysterical Markers, when he doesn’t stop!) and take breaks in small towns with kitschy quirks. It’s fun and educational!
Obviously when you are planning for a road trip, you’ll want your vehicle in tip-top shape. Check your tires, have them rotated and balanced if need be – this can make such a difference! Change the oil, refill the washer fluids and make sure the lights and brakes are in working order. Monroe® Shocks and Struts recommends using the Safety Triangle inspection to evaluate your vehicle’s steering and suspension components.
By following the Monroe Shocks and Struts Safety Triangle guidelines you can check your steering precision, stopping performance and or vehicle stability. Make sure you have your shocks or struts inspected at 50,000 miles. Monroe recommends this, as shocks and struts do wear out over the course of normal operation. Much like you wouldn’t want to wear an old pair of shoes with worn cushioning and run the risk of hurting the rest of your body, you don’t want to let your suspension and steering components get so worn out that they damage other parts of your vehicle. Ensure you have a safe and comfortable ride on your road trip (and during everyday driving too), by having these components checked at the suggested intervals.
Most importantly, have fun. Road trips are all about creating memories. Take lots of pictures, take in the scenery, love the ones you’re with and make it special in your own way.