Road Trip Tips for a Stress-Free Adventure
Did you know that summer is the most popular season for vacationing? The kids are out of school, the weather is nice, and the airfare is – well, the airfare is still expensive.
The truth is that the cost of flying for a family of four is about four times more expensive than driving. This is why many families are opting to pack up the car and hit the open road.
Wondering how you’ll fare in the car for hours on end? Virginia Tire & Auto is here to help. We’ll start with the logistics, then suggest a few creative ideas to please antsy kids and vacation-ready parents.
5 Road Trip Tips from Virginia Tire & Auto:
1. Ensure your vehicle is safe.
One way to risk unexpected repairs on the road is to neglect proper car maintenance. Before you pack the car and buckle your seat belts, make sure your vehicle is equipped for the journey.
A few things you should do:
- Check tire pressure and inflate tires
- Ensure that you have an Emergency Car Kit handy
- Fill up your gas tank
- Test your windshield wipers and make sure you have enough washer fluid
- Confirm that heating and cooling systems are in working order
- Check seat belt functionality
If you practice preventative maintenance and adequately prepare your vehicle, hopefully you won’t experience unexpected issues throughout your trip. But let’s face it, the road trip is only as successful as the kids are happy. Some would say that if the kiddos aren’t satisfied, you’re no better off than if you were stuck roadside – that’s why our next few tips focus on them.
2. Organize the car.
To help keep the backseat kicking and screaming under control, set up the car for success.
Place a plastic shoebox between your children’s car seats and fill it with their toys. This eliminates the hassle of reaching behind the seat for dropped action figures and keeps the youngsters occupied as an endless selection of their toys are within their reach. Bonus: you might even be able to see the floor mats in your car for a change.
3. Bring activities.
It’s easy to get bored during a long road trip, so keeping kids occupied with games and activities can be a good distraction.
For youngsters who appreciate the artistic side of life, bring an old diaper wipes case and fill it with crayons. Then, simply take a clipboard with a stack of computer paper and stick the pair in the seat pocket in front of your child.
Older kids who are more tech-savvy might want to play on an iPad or electronic gaming system. Make sure you charge the devices prior to hopping in the car, then pack up the chargers, too. Nothing passes the time quite like Angry Birds.
4. Pack snacks.
We know food is often the best entertainment while driving. It’s even better if the food item doesn’t make a mess of your car.
Try turning an empty peanut butter container into a holder for celery and dip. All you have to do is fill an empty cup with an inch or two of peanut butter (or ranch dressing) and then slice up some celery sticks and place them on top.
Bringing your own food can also mean you save money when you make stops. Knowing that there are delicious, mess-free snacks in the car might prevent kids from reaching for the candy at the gas station.
5. Plan stops.
Have you ever heard your stomach is grumbling then realize you passed the last food exit for 70 miles? That’s never a good feeling.
Although it takes a little bit of research up front, planning where you’d like to stop, fill up on gas, and take a break can give you peace of mind as you navigate unknown territories.
Ready to Hit the Open Road?
Whether you are trekking across the country or just over the state line, being prepared for a road trip is always essential. Bring your car into Virginia Tire & Auto and we’ll make sure your car is in tip-top shape.