Taking a road trip with your family is a great way to build memories and see new places. Planning can make your experience even better. Instead of running into unexpected problems, you can anticipate and solve them ahead of time so everyone will have a more enjoyable trip.
Follow these four tips so you can plan your road trip as easily as possible.
1. Plot Your Route Before You Leave
Paper maps don’t always include the latest information about road closings, construction, and gas station locations, so it makes sense to use a route-planning app before you get on the road.
Roadtrippers is a good option that uses Google Maps to:
- Help you find a route that you’ll enjoy taking
- Suggest interesting stops along the way
- Estimate how much it will cost to drive each route
Since Roadtrippers gets its information for Google Maps, it should have the latest road closings and other information you need to choose a route that gets you to your destination quickly.
2. Bring Snacks and Drinks
You probably won’t find many healthy food options on the interstate, so pack a cooler of snacks and drinks to keep your family satisfied during long drives. If you don’t have something for them to nibble on, then they’ll end up eating fast food and convenient store food.
Some healthy things to pack in your cooler include:
- Nuts and dried fruit
- Fresh fruit that keeps well (like apples and oranges)
- Peanut butter sandwiches
- Vegetables (carrots and celery keep especially well)
Don’t forget to pack drinks, too. Focus on water and other healthy beverages. If the kids love a certain type of juice, though, you should include it. Having a few sips could keep them quiet when they get cranky.
3. Have Your Vehicle Inspected
A road trip can put a lot of stress on your car. If there are any small problems lurking under the hood, then they could become big problems that leave you stranded on the side of the road.
A full inspection from a mechanic you trust should identify any potential issues so you can solve them now. It’s a lot cheaper and convenient to have your local mechanic work on your car now than to have an unknown mechanic do the job in the middle of nowhere.
4. Make a Packing Checklist
A packing checklist will help ensure that you have everything you need on your trip. As long as you make a thoughtful list, you shouldn’t discover that you’ve, for instance, forgotten your swimsuit after you’ve already reached the beach.
Some common things to put on a checklist include:
- Clothing for all situations you may encounter
- Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)
- Extra socks and underwear
- Any medications your family needs
- Tickets and reservation confirmations
It’s also smart to pack an emergency car kit with:
- Jumper cables
- Coolant and oil
- First-aid kit
- Small tool kit
With a little planning, your family could have the best road trip vacation yet.