Getting Ready for a Family Road Trip
You’ve got the time off work, the kids are out of school and you are in the final planning phase of your summer Road Trip. Looking forward to the adventure but wanting to make sure you’ve thought everything to make it tons of fun and limited hassle. Since we’ve all been there, we decided to ask some of our team members for their tips for travelling with the family. We’ve put together some tips for you and your family to make sure you’re ready to hit the bricks and have the best road trip without any hitches.
Prepare Your Financial Affairs Before You Go
Before you head out on the trip of a lifetime, make sure your affairs are in order. Having already saved for this exciting journey, make sure all your bills are paid so you don’t have to worry about late charges or coming home to a surprise with a disconnected utility. Be sure to be realistic when budgeting for the accommodation, food, mementos, and maybe some unexpected expenses. Try to make a daily budget that is flexible but easy to stick to for maximum fun!
Don’t forget to contact your bank ahead of time to alert them that you are heading out of state and may be spending more money than usual. This helps to avoid any alerts or embarrassing and inconvenient freezes on your account. Although it’s frustrating to have to pay off a credit card bill later, it’s best to use a credit card when travelling because of the protections in place for loss or theft. Using a debit card can give access straight into your bank account if a scam occurs when using this type of card. As well, be sure to have a back-up card that is carried separately, left in the hotel safe or well hidden somewhere in your car or carried by another person. Just in case.
Get Your Car Ready for the Trip
You can’t have a road trip without your trusty car so schedule a checkup with your mechanic to get your oil, brakes, and tires checked (don’t forget to check the pressure in your spare tire too!). Check out how to prepare your car for a road trip right here on our website. On the morning of your road trip be sure to give your car a quick look over (tires, lights, turn signals, wipers, gas) before you head out!
Book Your Accommodation in Advance
If traveling with little ones or an overly cautious companion, make sure to book your accommodation in advance as summer is road tripping season for many other families as well. A fully booked hotel (or three) can cause serious grumpyness and potentially ruin a day of travel.
Don’t Forget Emergency Supplies for the Unexpected
Once you hit the road you want to make sure you’ve got everything you need. Road Trip must-haves start with a first aid kit loaded with bandaids, antiseptic, and painkillers, because you never know when someone might end up with a boo boo. Blankets and pillows make the car comfier and a killer road trip playlist will make everyone feel at home and give you a lasting memory. Being stuck in the middle of nowhere with no bathroom in sight, some toilet paper will be surprisingly helpful if you must pull over on the side of the road or you end up in a less than desirable public restroom. Small bills and spare change come in handy for tolls, parking meters or letting your children have the adventure of running into the gas station alone for some gum or candy.
Pack Some Healthy Road Trip Food and Drinks
When everyone inevitably starts to get hungry, be sure to have some sandwiches or the fixings on hand for a quick meal that can easily be made in the car. When you find yourself hungry in between meals, fruit and raw veggies can also come in handy and are healthier than candy and chips. Be sure to keep some plastic bags on hand for your trash and wipes, as well some hand sanitizer to clean up afterwards. Don’t forget to pack water, the dry air in cars can really dehydrate your road trip crew! Tip: offer a reward to your backseat companions at the end of each travel day for fast cleanup of all trash in the car.
Keep the Trip Fun and Educational
While it’s easy to load some movies onto your laptop to keep your younger trippers occupied and quiet, road trips can be a really great opportunity for some education. Pack some books about where you’re headed and prepare some games that challenge the mind. Hint: The license plate game can not only teach kids the 50 states while the alphabet game can challenge the little ones to use their reading skills and bring about some friendly family competition.
All in all, road trips can be a great way to learn about this beautiful country while bringing your family together and creating lasting memories. Follow these tips and you are bound to have a fun packed trip this summer!
Of course, if you want to have your car looking good before the trip, stop into your local Econo Auto Painting for a quick refresh on your paint! Find an Econo location near you.