Whether you’re planning for a weekend away, or already thinking about your next summer vacation, a road trip with the kids can be great fun. It’s a great way to experience a more personal vacation. You’ll have a lot of time together as a group, and you won’t need to rush from one event or activity to the next. Instead, you can take your time and take moments to enjoy the little details that make a family vacation wonderful. Of course, if you’re going to do this, you need to make sure that you have the car ready for the road.
There’s actually quite a lot to think about before you take a road trip. There are a few decisions you need to make, and of course, it’s worth thinking about what to pack. But let’s start by considering an important question.
Should You Take Your Own Car?
This might seem like an odd question, but it’s actually something that you should consider. You might be driving from New York to Orlando on a trip with the kids. If you are taking on a journey like this, you should consider the impact it has on your vehicle. First, think about depreciation. If you are driving this far regularly, you can bet that your car is going to fall in value a lot faster than you would hope. If you’re still hoping to sell your car one day for a decent price, you might want to avoid this type of use. As well as this, you may find that your car isn’t the best when it comes to conserving fuel. If you hire one, you might be able to get something like a hybrid. That could be a fantastic option, and one that will mean fuel costs on your trip are kept as low as possible. You can find out more about saving money on fuel at MoneySavingExpert.com.
You should also think about whether your car will even be able to handle the type of journey that you are considering. If you are thinking about heading on a camping trip, it might involve some off-road travel. If that’s the case, you’re probably don’t want to take your little two-wheel drive family vehicle.
There are a few benefits of renting a car. First, you don’t have to worry about damage. If you get the right insurance coverage, it will mean you don’t need to obsessively worry about every pothole along the road. However, you will most likely need to keep it quite clean. This can be difficult when you have little ones. You also need to think about how far you can take the vehicle. Some rental companies won’t let you take the car across state lines. Depending on the type of trip you are planning, this could be an issue.
Making Sure Your Car Is Road Ready
There are a few checks you need to make before you take your car on a long trip. Let’s start by making sure that you are doing some the basic checks. For instance, tire pressure. It’s crucial that your tires are full. Underinflated tires will impact the level of grip that you have on the road and will make it difficult to keep the car under control. This is the last thing you want when you have kids in the car.
There are other basic checks too. For instance, you will want to make sure that oil and water levels are at the right amount. Any issues here will impact how well the car runs, and the last thing you want is to be left at the side of the road rather than off on a family adventure.
Of course, if you want to cover all the bases with problems that could develop with the vehicle, the best option would be to make sure that you are getting your car serviced. According to TelleTire.com, making sure that your car is well serviced is easy and affordable. It really is something that you should consider before you take a big trip in your car. That way, if there are any issues, you can get them fixed before they cause you a problem on the road.
Keep Things Entertaining
Depending on the age of your kids, you might find that they don’t respond brilliantly to long car journeys where they have nothing to do. However, you can fix that thanks to the wonders of modern technology. There are plenty of ways to keep kids entertained these days. For instance, you can fill an iPod up with all their favorite sing-along songs. If you don’t mind a rather loud and happy car journey, this could be a fantastic option. You might not have a built-in Aux kit for your car. But you can get a digital transmitter that will allow you to play your iPod through the car radio stereo. However, these days most cars do come with an Aux connection. Another option would be to buy a portable, battery-powered digital speaker. This a great way to make sure the kids are totally entertained.
Alternatively, you can consider getting a mini TV for the back of the seats. These mini screens come equipped with Blu-Ray players, and some can even be connected to Netflix. As such, you can always make sure that your children have something to watch on a road trip. This will avoid the painful and cliche cries of ‘are we there yet’ on a journey that could take hours.
Of course, you can also think about playing some of the typical games such as ‘I Spy,’ “counting cars’ and a ‘Yellow car.’ It should kill at least a couple of hours depending on the age of your children.
Planning For Food Trips
There are two ways to deal with food on the family road trip. Either, you can take it with you, or you can stop on the way to get some tasty snacks. The benefit of packing food, of course, is that you can keep things healthy. If you choose to purchase food on the road, you will be almost completely at the mercy of fast food restaurants. Now, the benefit of fast food is that it is quite cheap. But, if you take care to make sure that your kids eat well typically, this can be a shock to the system. You can easily make some sandwiches and other healthy snacks, keeping them in the cooler in the trunk of the car.
The only other thing to consider is where you’re going to stop to eat. Yes, you will need to plan stops for food. Eating in the car might sound like a smart move because it saves time. But, it can be quite distracting passing around sandwiches and other snacks. You don’t want to do this while you’re driving down the road.
You may want to think about looking at things that are easy to prepare for the car. For instance, you can get little snack packs that are easy to store and open for kids in the car. Mini sausages, for instance, could be a great snack for those long car journeys and are filling enough to make sure that your kids aren’t complaining they are hungry every few seconds.
Where Are You Going?
Regardless of how well you know the roads, you should make sure that you have a satnav for your car. Do not rely on your phone as there will be times when your phone goes out of signal. If this occurs, your sat nav map may stop working. At that point, you will struggle to find your way, and this could result in a long detour on an already extended journey. You don’t want that, and if you make sure you are using a sat nav system, you’ll be able to avoid it completely.
These systems are typically very cheap and affordable these days so you don’t have to worry about another cost that will be added onto this family trip.
Keeping Your Car Safe
Finally, do make sure that you are packing everything you need to keep you and your family safe. You should have a survival kit in the trunk of your car or even underneath one of your seats. If the weather turns and you get stuck in your car, it’s useful to have everything you need to stay safe for a couple of hours or even a couple of days. This probably sounds like crazy levels of preparation, but it’s always going to seem crazy until you find yourself in that situation.
On top of that, you do want to make sure that you have sun protectors across the windows. UV light can be incredibly dangerous to children, and if you don’t have a level of protection, the windows of a car can actually magnify the impact of these rays. You can learn more about this on NYTimes.com.
Finally, do make sure that if you are traveling in a rough season of weather, you have a few blankets and warm clothes in the back in case you do get stranded in your vehicle.
We hope this advice helps you plan everything you need for a fantastic road trip with the family. Check out this site Travel.USNews.com for more info on where to go.