Planning for a long distance drive or family road trip this summer? Well, a family road tip can be an exciting adventure, there’s no doubt. But, without the proper precautions, a fun, family adventure can quickly turn into a disaster. To make sure you not only get to your intended destination but that your road trip remains safe – a fun – for the whole family, you need to consider a few safety tips before you hit the road.
Tips to keep your family safe (and happy!) during a summer road trip:
1. Get some car maintenance done before your road trip
Ensure that your car is in tip-top condition before you head out for a long distance drive. Here is a maintenance list to check off before you start your journey;
- Brake system: Make an appointment at your local car auto shop to have your brakes inspected before your trip. Some notable signs of a brake system that needs repair are:
-Taking time before making an actual stop after brakes are applied
-Vibrations on the pedals
- Window tint (if you haven’t already got it): A long-distance drive during summer means driving for hours in the sun. Tinting your car’s windows will save your family from harmful UV rays and keep the inside of your car cooler.
- Battery: Ensure there is no corrosion and that the terminals are properly attached. For liquid batteries, check the fluid levels and top up if necessary.
- Car fluids: Keep an eye on the fluid levels and ensure they are always refilled and changed when required.
2. Map out your route
Hopping in your car and setting off without a clear route in mind is not advisable when you have your family with you. Of course, thanks to GPS and easily accessible apps like Google Maps, few of us worry about getting lost as long as we have our destination in mind.
But to truly make the most of your experience, plan out your route ahead of time and do a little research on some of the landmarks you expect along the way during your road trip. Plan time to stop at some of the more interesting spots and use them as a place to take a break, have a picnic, or just explore some new sites together as a family. Carry a map in addition to using GPS and Google Maps and have your kids find your various locations and follow your route. This way, not only you will avoid getting stranded along unfamiliar routes, but you’ll add some fun to the journey.
3. Pack enough supplies, snacks, and drinks to keep moving
Eating in restaurants along the way is very tempting but can have drawbacks. First, there is no guarantee you will find healthy meals where you stop. Secondly, it can become quite expensive to eat out for every meal – especially with a family. Lastly, you may not always know where you will find suitable restaurants along your route during meal hours, and taking too long between meals can not only lead to grumpy kids, but it could also lead to spaciness and light-headedness for you, making it unsafe to be behind the wheel.
Avoid these scenarios by packing enough drinks and food to keep you moving for two to three days – or however long you think you might be on the road. Skip the not-so-healthy snacks from convenience stores and restaurants and carry healthy homemade food during the road trip. On the night before the trip, try to boil some eggs, bake healthy snack breads, and prepare some fruits and veggies for your trip. Pack snacks you know your family will like and turn pit stops into picnics along the way!
4. Keep your family entertained
Long drives, especially with kids, are stressful and often lead to bickering. Therefore, keep your children entertained with puzzles, books, coloring books, and any other time-killing activities you can think of. In fact, these distractions can be good for keeping everyone entertained and engaged during the road trip – even the grown-ups!
Make sure that your stereo or car audio system is working fine before you leave for your journey. Listening to music, comedy CDs, or even humorous audio-books will keep your family entertained and divert your minds from what might otherwise feel like a long, tiring journey.
5. Bottom line
Just remember to plan ahead so that you can relax and truly enjoy the journey together as a family. To ensure your family road trip doesn’t take a wrong turn, make the above safety and planning tips an absolute must. This way, you will get your family to your destination safely, but you’ll also have the chance to make family memories that will last a lifetime.