Jun 202017
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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.

Fresh Tires

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.

Vehicle Checkup

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).

Pack Smart

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.

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  41 Responses to “How To Prepare Your Family Vehicle For A Long Trip”

  1. These are great tips. Before a road trip, my husband always gives the car a good once over while I pack up our supplies. We’re regular pros.;)

  2. these are some very important tips especially if you are travelling with a young family

  3. These are some really great tips for road trips. When we would take road trips each child had their own backpack filled with things to keep them entertained.

  4. I love long drives with my family. Thanks for the tips. They are really helpful.

  5. I absolutely love these smart tips. The longest trip we take is to visit my Husband’s Mom and that is 10 hours, so I can really use some of these!

  6. We do a lot of road trips and I can tell you now that everything you say here is absolutely spot on. You need to have entertainment for the kids and you need a lot of snacks. I never leave for vacation without checking the tires. That’s probably the most important of all.

  7. Love the New tires idea… nothing worse than a flat tire mid trip! We love the magic coloring books for the kids -because markers end up making a mess! Thanks for sharing.

  8. As it is already summer, road trips become a staple at my place. Thankyou for sharing the realistic tips. I have experienced issues in past, but now I will use your tips as a checklist!

  9. This is such a great post and includes some really important things to make sure you check before you head off on a long trip.

  10. These are great tips. My husband and I went on a road trip once without being properly prepared. Let’s just say emphasis on ONCE.

  11. We are about to embark on a 600+ mile road trip in a few days. This advice and reminders are just what I needed!

  12. I make sure to have snacks on hand in the car. I also bring books for my kiddos to read.

  13. These are great tips! I know my son get hungry more on road trips than at home. (Or it might be because we are in a confined space.) I always love being prepared whenever you travel because you never know what is going to happen!

  14. Pack smart is a good one as people dont realize that a heavy car uses more gas. My husband packs way too much when camping.

  15. Our car is like another member of our family, and she tends to keep her “room” slightly messy when she’s not on the road. Gosh, it’s something I always have to fuss at her about, but darn it if she doesn’t make up for it on road trips! We have been to a little over half of the states in the nation in our car, and we’re hoping to have her hit all of the lower 48 before she gives up on us. Great tips, and I can’t wait until this year’s family road trip!

  16. The vehicle checkups are definitely important. I have to feel confident that my car is in good shape before going on any long trips.

  17. yes I always have my car looked at before a long road trip. You dont want a car emergency in a random place!

  18. When my car was totaled we ended up with a convertible and half the space we had before. It makes me sad because I used to ROCK road trips in the standard size PT. Now it’s just more of a challenge!

  19. Totally agree with the vehicle checkup. It is so vital to do that before any type of road trip!

  20. Long drives with the family should be stress-free and enjoyable. Using your tips would definitely ease the stress!

  21. I always bring a ton of snacks and games with us in a road trip. It is important to have your car checked out before you go.

  22. I think the fresh tires is a great point. My husband works for a tire company, so thankfully, we get them at a great price!

  23. These are Fantastic ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Definitely keeping the kids entertained is an important one. We used to have dual dvd players for the kids so they could watch movies however we don’t have those anymore.

  25. Thank’s for sharing this information. Always check up the car.

  26. Getting your car checked is always important. These are great tips on how to prepare for a road trip. I think changing the tires is a great idea too!

  27. Hey Robin. I’m an orphan, socially neglected, single and introvert. Moreover, I don’t own a car. Any tips?

  28. Ever since I watched Hangover series, I want to go for a long drive. But your tips will certainly help me retaining all the fun with a lot less worries.

  29. Thanks for sharing these tips! Better be prepare with lots of foods and water. Even I, I felt grumpy when traveling with no food available 🙂

  30. These points are so true! We take 2 days sometimes to prepare before heading on a weekend trip out of town. It gets tiring but is easier than doing it all at one time.

  31. Oh man! My parents used to take us on the longest road trips! Great tips to get the family there safe and entertained.

  32. Normally by this time of year we have been traveling for some time. Our work has held us back so far this year. But in two weeks we are definitely hitting the road and I can’t wait. These are some great tips to keep in mind as we prepare.

  33. These are important tips for all parents & grandparents too as I take my 5 yr old granddaughter lots of places, often in a rental car.

  34. Great tips for parents. It is difficult to travel long places with smaller children.

  35. These are great tips! I travel all summer for lacrosse! We just had the car looked at to make sure all good. Extra food in the car is a must too!

  36. Road trips are super fun! But you have to make sure that you have everything that you need especially if you’re taking the kids with you! These are awesome tips!

  37. We’ve been talking about taking a vacation to Florida (from IN) and it sounds horrible to me, but maybe if I use some of these tips the drive wont be so horrible!

  38. Making sure the kids are entertained during long trips is huge. If the kids get into a bad mood, it could ruin the ride for the entire family.

  39. When traveling it is so important to be prepared. There are so many things you can do ahead of time to make your trip as smooth as you can

  40. Making sure that your vehicle is in tip-top shape is so important! I also agree that keeping the kids fed and entertained is vital to a nice trip!

  41. My hubby and I are thinking about taking a long trip this summer but we have yet to formalize it.