Planning a family road trip? Getting out on the open highway and seeing the country from coast to coast can be a great way to see incredible sights, make indelible memories, and have an exciting and varied travel experience that just can’t be replicated by flying into a single destination. A road trip can be a real adventure, but as is the case with adventures, there are ways things can go wrong. The best way to make sure you have a road trip that leaves you with good memories and positive experiences is to think ahead and put in some planning for unexpected contingencies, especially if you’re bringing kids along with you. Next time you’re thinking about taking a road trip, keep these travel tips in mind.
- Get your car inspected
Take your car to a mechanic or dealership before you leave to make sure your fluid levels are good, your tires are full, and there aren’t any parts that are likely to break down while you’re cruising through the desert miles away from the next town. There’s no way to guarantee you won’t have car trouble at some point, but a clean bill of auto health can give you a lot of peace of mind while you travel.
- Pick your routes
Taking the back roads can be a great way to see things that most travelers miss, but the further you get off the beaten path, the greater the risk you’ll end up stranded if something unexpected happens. Don’t let that dissuade you, just plan your routes ahead of time and make sure you locate the roads that can take you back into familiar territory so you don’t end up lost.
- Have roadside assistance
An auto club like AAA can provide you with towing, flat tire changes, or a jump start when you need them, saving you from having to find and negotiate with local tow companies. Your insurance company might also provide you with roadside assistance, so make sure you find out if that’s the case before you take to the highway.
- Prep for the kids
Pack a separate bag of car snacks, toys, books, and activities for your kids that they can access on their own without having to ask you for help while you’re busy driving. If you’re traveling with very young passengers, make sure their car seats are installed correctly as part of your pre-trip vehicle inspection.
- Take breaks
It can be tempting to keep going and going to make good time and get to your destinations early, but taking some time to slow down, get out of the car, and regroup will help everybody feel more rested and less cranky.
A great road trip is an adventure your whole family will remember fondly, and can inspire a lifetime of appreciation for exploration and travel in your kids, so don’t be afraid of the potential challenges a big road trip can pose. Just plan ahead and pack smart and you can have a great trip that everyone in the family will enjoy.