A road trip is a fantastic, low-cost way to give your family a summertime adventure they will remember forever. But without proper planning? You could be setting yourself up for hair-pulling times versus Instagram-worthy moments.
Here is what you need to keep in mind to plan and have a successful road trip that will be a treasured memory and not a traveling horror show!
Safety always comes first.
Know how to perform a basic vehicle inspection? Don’t feel bad if you do not. Just be sure to take it into a car garage. Get the tires checked for air pressure. Make sure the engine is running okay. And your fluid levels are all topped up.
According to CNRLawyers.com, a Hanover reckless driving lawyer,”You can be charged with reckless driving in Virginia for driving a faulty vehicle or one that is not under proper control. For example, your brake lights may fail, leading to an accident. You may also swerve on the road to avoid hitting an obstacle and then lose control. If you are involved in any of these incidents, then you can be charged with reckless driving.”
If you want to avoid a reckless driving charge, and most of all keep your family safe, get a car tune-up before your trip. A week or two before your road trip start date, take your vehicle in for a tune up.
Plan to stop. A lot.
You will need a break from your kids. And your kids will demand a break from the vehicle. So as you plot out a route that will take your family to your destination, plan for lots of pit stops along the way. The dreaded “Are we there yet?” chorus will be sung with less frequency if you have mini-breaks every hour.
Additionally, finding fun stops along the way is key to enjoying the trip. There are plenty of free travel apps that can help you plot out your road trip and find the best places to stop along the way.
Try to look at the journey as part of the whole experience. This will keep you from focusing too much on the destination that you neglect enjoying the scenery and time with your kids.
When figuring out how long it will take to get to a destination, remember to factor in all those stops that you will be taking.
Go overboard with preparing the entertainment.
Books, electronic devices, games for the whole family to play while in the car, audiobooks, music… Stock up on all of the aforementioned to keep every member of the family entertained.
If your children are young, rotate their entertainment options to keep them from getting bored with any one activity. You can do this by having your kids take turns with a certain electronic device. Or by only pulling out a new activity each time you stop for a break.
It is better to err on the side of bringing too much entertainment than not enough. Double check that you have all the chargers for your electronics with you right before you pull out of the driveway.
Have healthy snacks on hand.
Snack options at highway stops tend toward sugary and calorie-laden. Neither of which will do your family any favors when it comes to your health or your sanity. Sugar high + a small, confined space = a recipe for unhappiness all around.
Want to avoid the sugar high and then the crash and burn from a fat-laden meal? Prepare healthy snacks for your family to munch on along the way.
Need some ideas of what can be easy to eat while on the go? Try a trail mix of nuts, raisins, and popcorn. Veggie sticks with a hummus dip can alleviate the desire for something salty and crunchy. And energy bars are great for something sweet, but not overly so. A tray of healthy oatmeal cookies or banana bread can also take care of a sudden craving for something sweet and sugary. Cut fruit provides vitamins and minerals and are delicious to boot!
Keep in mind, however, that foods spoil easily during summer weather. So bring a cooler for any perishable items that you will bring.
Also, bring lots of bottled water, or other beverages to keep your family hydrated.
All of this will not only be protecting your family from weight gain during summer vacation. But bringing snacks from home can help you save money that can be put toward other vacation expenses.