A long, nice car trip with your kids and your spouse is definitely one of the most beautiful experiences that a person can experience. However, it’s very important that you know how to adequately prepare for it, or your trip can quickly turn into a nightmare – and I’m sure that none of you want that.
There are two things that generally tend to be most important on a trip like this – keeping your kids happy, and making sure that road safety is at its absolute maximum. Today, I want to talk about some specific things that you should definitely do before any serious road trip with your family, so without further ado, here they are.
Plenty of Food
News flash, kids get hungry – way faster than adults do. In addition, not only do kids get hungry when they’re actually hungry, but also when they’re bored out of their mind (something that often happens on long road trips). This isn’t something that you’ll be able to explain to your child if they’ve been sitting for hours in a moving vehicle, so I find that it’s best to just go along with it. Make sure that they can eat as much as they want during the trip (up to a reasonable point of course – you won’t want them to be sick), so stop by the store and get lots of their favorite food before you take off.
If you haven’t changed your tires in the last six months or so, it’s probably a good idea to have them changed before the trip. There are several reasons for this; one, it will keep law enforcement off your backs, as cops have known to give people a hard time if their tires are older than they should be. But the more obvious reason is probably that the newer your tires are, the better the work. You never know when you’re going to get surprised by a flash shower and have to drive over wet concrete, and coupled with the fact that your car is probably a lot heavier than it usually is, this can quickly turn into a hazard. Get new tires if you need to, trust me on this – you’ll save yourself a lot of grief later on.
Keeping the Kids Entertained
Kids get bored a lot more easily than adults do, simply because of the fact that they have a lot more energy. If they aren’t given a way to expend all that extra energy, sooner or later they’re going to get cranky and start complaining, and this is the last thing you want on a long, tedious car trip. To keep this from happening, make sure you pack their backpacks with all sorts of fun stuff – coloring books, comics, arts & crafts material, whatever they like to do at home, try to bring it along for the road. It’s going to be worth it ultimately, even if they do end up making a bit of a mess in the car.
If you’re going to be changing up your tires, you might as well take your whole car into the shop and make sure there aren’t anything loose that you haven’t noticed. Have a professional look at it and let you know if anything needs replacing, and if so, now is the time to do it. Trust me, no matter how much it may cost it’s not worth it to have your car die on you in the middle of nowhere and having to have it towed back, so make sure that your ride can handle the ride (pun intended).
When I say pack smart, I mean don’t overdo it with the amount of stuff you think you need to bring. Your car is already going to be heavier than usual, so anything you can do to take the load off is going to make your ride smoother and easier for all of you. Make sure you have all your essentials, but you really don’t need to bring your whole house along, otherwise what’s the point of the trip? Minimalistic is the way to go, always, and as long as you stick to that philosophy, I guarantee that your trip will go a whole lot smoother.