Get the Car Ready for Family Road Trips - Engineer Mommy /* ]]> */
Jan 192018
 

This is a collaborative post. This post contains affiliate links. I received a payment for this post but all opinions are mine alone.

I have always been a fan of road trips. In fact, some of my favorite vacations I took as a kid with my parents involved long car rides all over the Northeast. Now as a mom, I still love taking my family on road trips. There’s something special about hitting the open road and going on an adventure together. However, don’t leave unprepared- here is my list of essential things to keep in mind before embarking on a long car ride.
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Bring snacks for the kids!
When kids get hungry or thirsty, they tend to get restless and cranky. Keep their moods lifted by packing a wide variety of snacks and drinks for the road. Some options we like to have on hand include pretzels, dried fruit, nuts and other non-perishable items.

Perform routine car maintenance!
Before road trips, it’s imperative to make sure the car is operating in peak condition. Check all fluids and top them off, if necessary- this includes engine oil, steering fluid, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid and antifreeze. Replace windshield washers if they regularly leave streaks on the windshield. Make sure the vehicle batteries are in good condition and free of corrosion. Check that all lights are in working order. Be sure that tires are properly inflated and are displaying the correct tread depth. With the right preparation ahead of time, you can keep your vehicle running throughout your road trip.

Pack a first aid kit!
Road trips can sometimes cause unexpected injuries. However, with a first aid kit on hand, that small cut can be handled in no time. You can purchase a pre-assembled first aid kit from the store –like this one– or you can create your own version. If you are going the DIY route, some must-have items to include are: bandages, antiseptic ointment, ibuprofen, gauze and paper tape.

Don’t forget the camera!
You don’t want to forget any of the destinations or memorable moments from your trip. Bring along a camera, along with a spacious storage drive & backup batteries, so you can capture plenty of images from your road trip adventures. In my opinion, looking back at all the pictures is one of the most exciting parts of getting back home!
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Rely on a GPS system!
Getting lost is never fun, so it’s important to bring along maps or a GPS system. Sure, you could try to memorize directions and/or ask for help along the way. However, what happens if the map gets soaked by an accidental spill of soda? Or what if you can’t find someone to ask for directions? By having your own GPS system in the car, you can be self-reliant and still get to your destination easily. Our current vehicle has navigation built in, but we used to have this model.

Bring activities for the kids!
I never leave for a road trip with the kids without activities for the little ones. Last summer, I made this DIY Activity Tray for the kids to take on road trips. I used a pillow and picture frame to create the perfect surface for road trip snacks or road trip drawings. Here’s another idea for a portable activity for kids – simply use an old DVD case to store papers & colored pencils. Easy peasy!

Be prepared for the unexpected!
In case the car does break down, you want to have certain essentials on hand. Here are some items to keep in your trunk in case you are dealing with a vehicle breakdown: blanket, flashlight, car manual, roadside assistance information, hazard lights and orange safety cone.

For more tips & tricks on taking a successful road trip with kids, check out other posts here and here.

I hope these tips have inspired you to go on more road trips with the family this year. By making sure you have certain essentials on hand, you can enjoy the trip and make wonderful memories.







Disclosure: Engineer Mommy is a participant in the Amazon Services, LLC Associates Program, which is an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. For additional details, please see our full Disclosure Policy. Any link may be an affiliate link. All opinions are exclusively my own.
 January 19, 2018  Posted by

9 Responses to “Get the Car Ready for Family Road Trips”

  1. So many great tips. Snacks & things to do for the kiddos are a must. And making sure your car is in tip-top shape doesn’t hurt either.

  2. I swear just going into the city is a road trip for my kids!
    We haven’t had a chance to sneak away for awhile but thanks for the reminder to make sure my car is in tip top shape! I need to go and get my oil changed asap!

  3. Thanks for sharing this! I actually love to travel, but I’m not particularly fond of road tripping because I get car sick, however, I’ve stuck it out so my kids can have the experience on quite a few 🙂 These are all great tips and we use many of them!

  4. These are all things that I make sure we have for a road trip. Actually a snack and drink are required even going to the store for my daughter.

  5. Road trips with the family are so much fun. I love your ideas for keeping the kids busy. We’ll definitely start using some of them.

  6. I am going to go on a road trip soon to see my daughter and there are definitely some things on here that I need to attend to before I head out! Some checks of the car and buying cones for sure.

  7. We haven’t plan our road trip just yet. With the weather being so bad from my neck of the woods, it’s hard to do things.

  8. Growing up I did the same thing with my family. As I’m reading your post I’m on a 8 hour road trip with my sister and cousins.

  9. These are some great tips, I think people often forget to do some maintenance before they travel, especially if it is something they do just once or twice a year.

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