Road Trip! 3 Ways To Be Prepared For Your Family Vacation

Summer’s here, and it’s the perfect time to pack up the kids and head out for that quintessential American vacation: the road trip. No matter the destination, there are three steps you can take to make your trip more successful and less stressful. With the right planning, you can avoid common road trip problems and stay focused on the memories you’re making with your family.

Prepare your car

Even short drives can turn into long days if you experience car trouble on the road. Make sure your vehicle is road-ready by getting any needed repairs done well before your departure date. Obviously, any major repairs such as failing breaks or exhaust damage should be repaired for your safety, but even small areas of damage should be addressed if possible. Small cracks or pits in the windshield or dents in your bumper may only seem like a minor cosmetic issue at home, but can escalate into big problems if you’re in a minor accident on your trip. A body shop like Chehalis Collision Center can take care of anything from paint damage to large dents and your local shop may even offer other vehicle services. Follow up with regular maintenance items such as getting your fluids filled and tires filled. Not only will you have confidence that your car is in top shape, you’ll also be getting better gas mileage.

Pack for comfort

Part of the joy in a road trip is being on the road, and it’s more fun being in a car that is comfortable and entertaining. Get a variety of snacks that appeal to everyone, and splurge on special treats or drinks that you don’t normally keep on hand at home. Make sure all the seats are accommodating for a long ride with blankets or cushions that can be used for napping. Stock up on audiobooks, a great music playlist, or movies that all ages can enjoy. Tablets and a few new apps can be great for keeping kids (and adults!) entertained, but don’t forget old fashioned entertainment like new coloring books, a pair of binoculars, and a road atlas to explore.

Plan for spontaneity

It sounds counter-intuitive, but the most memorable moments of a family road trip are the unexpected experiences that happen along the way. You can have more unplanned, spontaneous fun by leaving space in your itinerary for flexibility. Give yourself a few extra hours and mental permission on each day’s journey to stop and explore something that catches your eye or when everyone needs to stretch. It may not be the most efficient way, but if you choose a route with multiple interesting attractions along the road you’ll have options and built-in flexibility for adventures.

A family road trip is one of summer’s most iconic experiences. With these three tips, you can be confident you’ll arrive safely and enjoy the ride. It may take a little extra planning, but remember, on a road trip, the journey is just as important as the destination!

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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