Sunday, February 1, 2015

Five Tips to Prep for a Road Trip

Thinking ahead to warmer days? Spring is just around the corner, which means that spring break will soon be here, and summer will follow soon after! Spring and summer are great seasons to plan a road trip for your family. With icy road conditions out of the picture, you can feel good about hitting the road with your loved ones, and heading someplace that will be fun for the whole family!

Before you hit the road, it's best to make some important preparations, to make sure your car is safe for the duration of your trip. Check out these tips for road trip prep:

Schedule a check up.

Before you hit the road for ours at a time, be sure to take your car in for a check up. You'll want to make sure all of your fluids are checked and changed, if need be. One thing you'll really want to pay attention to, is checking to see when you last had an oil check. You'll also want to check your coolant levels. Check and make sure that your windshield washer fluid is filled up and working properly.  Make sure all headlights and brake lights are in proper working order, as well.

Put together an emergency kit for the car.

Anytime you leave home, it's a good idea to have a car emergency kit with you. Keep bottled water, extra blankets, a first aid kit, and non-perishable snacks in a place that's easy to get to, when needed. It's also a good idea to keep a few small tools with you, like an auto glass breaking tool, tools needed for changing a tire, keeping a spare or donut tire in the trunk, or a can of Fix-a-Flat, that will at least help you keep going for a few miles to a service station.

Plan your route ahead of time.

It's a good idea to plan the roads you intend to travel ahead of time. Sit down and research different routes you might want to take. Ask yourself if you'd like to take the route with the least about of miles, which might take you through roads that are off the beaten path. Taking the more convenient route may bring more traffic, and more drive time. Print out driving directions with alternate routes, in case you find yourself in an area where you have no GPS signal. It's also a good idea to keep an updated atlas in the car with you.

Keep the kids happy.

Will you be traveling with children? It's a great idea to prepare fun games and activities that they can enjoy for the duration of the trip. Making a list of fun games that don't require a board or game pieces, or a screen is a great idea! Make a list of five simple games that the whole family can play together, making sure that it's age appropriate for your children. You could also prepare a DIY Travel Journal, as a special surprise for your children, Fill it with printable pages for coloring and drawing, journaling, collections, and more! Hold onto these after the trip, and you'll have adorable journals to look back on with your children when they're older. Of course, pack a few snacks and drinks, and a few favorite toys or activities. Portable devices that can play movies can keep children entertained and quiet when mom and dad need a quiet break, or need to be able to concentrate.

Don't bring the entire world with you.

It's certainly easy to over-pack for road trips. Not knowing what to bring can cause you to wind up with way too many unnecessary items packed into the car, which can weigh the car down, and lower your gas mileage. Pack smarter by laying out the clothing and accessories that you will need. If you will have easy access to a washer/dryer, consider washing and wearing the same outfit more than once while on your trip. Limit the number of bags older children are allowed to bring. Rolling clothing before packing it into a suitcase can save a lot of room. If possible, share a clothing bag with a child or spouse, and have one bag for family toiletries. Limit the amount of toys children are allowed to bring. Try your best to bring only what you'll need, and distribute the weight evenly throughout the car when packing up.

This post brought to you by Holt Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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