Family road trips are ripe with opportunity for creating happy memories, but can also quickly become a catastrophe if when you’re not prepared! The hot summer sun has been known to inspire cranky attitudes among even the calmest kids, and when the kids call for every single rest stop from point A to B, it can be taxing on the driver and extend the trip by hours! At I-70 Auto Service, we like to be prepared for anything! So we’ve come up with a list of essentials for what to bring, plan, and prepare on your family’s next big road trip!
What to Bring
There are a thousand and one things you could pack into the family van and hope for the best. We’ve narrowed it down for you to a few absolute must-haves for the car. First off, bring sunscreen. Driver’s side arm burn can be a pain for anyone exposed. On top of that, if you’re planning any rest stops or beach stops along the way, you want to have some sunscreen on hand. The last thing anyone wants is to be stuck in the car with a sunburn. Ouch! Water bottles and snacks re great alternatives to stopping for fast food. Water and some crackers is a far cry from sugary drinks and french fries. That said, you’ll want to monitor them a little more because otherwise you risk extra rest stops! Also, make sure you pack some peppermint gum in the snack bag- chewing peppermint gum actually relieves nausea and car sickness! Double and triple check that all the electronics have their accompanying chargers and batteries, and bring some extra batteries just in case! You won’t want to have a dead camera and miss the perfect picture moment on this trip! Finally, bring a change of clothes for everyone, outside of the regular luggage. We recommend packing a full set of clothes for each person in it’s own Ziploc baggie. That way, you won’t have to worry as much about spills, falls, and accidents because you’ll be prepared!
What to Plan
It’s easy to overplan when you’re travelling with kids, because they’re unpredictable and out the window goes your meticulously made plans! So when you’re planning out the trip and rest stops, be smart but flexible. Identify a couple different rest stops ahead of time, so you already know where to go and how far it will be. Consider leaving early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the heat and let the kids sleep through the early or late hours. For when the kids are awake, have a designated job for each child so that they feel they’re contributing. For example, bring a map along for the oldest, or make one of them the designated trash monitor or snack distributor. THere are lots of creative ways to occupy kids on the road that don’t have anything to do with electronics too. Plan ahead and prepare a binder for each child with colored pencils and their favorite cartoon characters to color, or come up with an “eye spy” list for them to search for. The extra activities that you plan won’t just keep them occupied for the moment, but might even become happy memories for later on!
What to Prepare
Before you hit the road, make sure you run through every safety measure and precaution you can think of. Put some jumper cables, towels, and a first aid kit in the trunk just in case. If there is anything not working in your car, now is the time to have it looked at. Come into I-70 Auto Service, we’ll run diagnostics for any indicator lights you have lit up on your dashboard. A/C not working? We’ll troubleshoot for you and have it repaired too!
If you have any suspicion that your vehicle might not be road ready, don’t wait until the whole family is in the car to break down on the side of the road. Prevent and prepare for your trip by stopping by I-70 Auto Service at 3111 N. Stadium Drive in downtown Kansas City, MO. You’ll be glad you did!