Preparation helps you make the most of your time on the road with family. Anticipate everyone’s needs and prioritize safety and comfort. Read on to learn four things you should do before a family road trip.
1. Prepare the Vehicle
Inspect and top off your vehicle’s fluid levels before the trip; this includes the coolant, windshield washer fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and engine oil. Also, check your tire pressure and make sure your spare is in good condition, too.
If you’re renting for an off-roading trip, for example, be sure to choose the best vehicle model for your needs. The rental provider will inspect the vehicle and make sure everything is in good condition before your journey. Don’t forget necessary or useful add-ons, such as ski racks or child seats.
2. Pack Journey Essentials
Load up on essentials everyone will need while in the car. Some items on the list might depend on the ages and interests of everyone on the trip, while others are necessary for each trip.
For your vehicle, you’ll need jumper cables, basic tools, a tire gauge, and a flashlight. You should also pack a first aid kit, snacks, water, blankets, and charging cables for your electronic devices. And plan to handle messes by packing tissues, napkins, wipes, hand sanitizer, and trash bags.
3. Research the Area and Download Apps
The next thing to do before a family road trip is research the area you’re visiting. While smartphones make it easier than ever to wing a trip, don’t assume you will have the time, patience, or internet connection to look up information on the road.
Research the route you’ll take so you know what to expect. Plan pit stops where everyone can refuel and stretch. If you’d like, download apps that provide useful information, such as traffic alerts and things to do in the places you’re driving through.
4. Prepare Activities
Stave off boredom and keep kids engaged with a mix of fun things to do. Aside from the on-screen fun of videos and video games, coloring books and travel journals are quiet activities kids can enjoy. Children can draw and write about their favorite parts of the trip in the travel journals.
Toys and magnetic board games give kids a tactile way to use their imaginations. And classic road trip games, like I Spy, are as fun as ever.