Taking the family on a road trip this summer? It doesn’t have to be a scenario from National Lampoon’s Vacation movie. Every road trip has it’s ups and downs. You can avoid a few glitches along the way by packing well. Consider needs aside from clothing and personal belongings. Your family will appreciate you packing these little survival kits to make the road trip run smoothly.
Kids and adults alike get cranky cramped up in the car between food stops. Packing non-perishables like nuts, dried fruit and granola bars is a good idea. Keep everyone’s blood sugar stable while traveling. Put a few treat items like cookies and chips in the snack pack too. Keep water bottles on hand for thirsty family members.
Eating at roadside diners and restaurants can be quite pricey. Consider the addition of a picnic cooler when packing. Fill the cooler with bread and sandwich supplies to save on buying lunch. It can be fun to have rest area picnics. Deli or homemade salads pack well. They bring a little variety to family road trip lunches.
“Mom, I’m bored”. This is the statement of all children, whether on a family road trip or not. The activity pack should be filled with puzzle books, magazines and travel games for bored kids and adults. Don’t forget pens and pencils. Younger children might appreciate Mom packing a coloring book and crayons for the ride. Bring along a Frisbee or ball for leg stretching rest area fun.
There will be messes on the family road trip. Bring along napkins, paper towels and plenty of wet wipes to clean up the car and family members. Have a wet washcloth in a plastic sandwich bag for those times when the mess is too big for the wet wipes. A little brush broom and dustpan can be stored under the car seat for easy access.
Road side restrooms and gas stations are not equipped for everything. Sometimes they’re even out of basic supplies. Packing a bag with sanitary seat covers and toilet tissue helps. Grooming supplies like hair products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and brushes and combs should be packed into this kit as well. Consider two of these bags, one for the men and another for the ladies, since they will use separate facilities.
First aid pack
Hopefully, this won’t be needed. If there’s a medical emergency it does help to be prepared. First aid kits for all needs are available in many camping supply stores. It’s possible to put together your own first aid kit. The main things are bandages, antiseptic and pain reliever. Have extra medicine for family members with prescriptions.
Break down pack
Before leaving on a trip, be sure the car is up to speed with all maintenance issues. Have a mechanic check for any possible problems before starting on a trip. It’ll be much more expensive to have work done on the road. Pack a spare tire, flares a jack and jumper cables for roadside emergencies. It doesn’t hurt to have extra wiper fluid, radiator fluid, oil, transmission and brake fluid either. The car may take a beating with this continual road trip travel. Be sure all your belts are in good shape for the drive.
It may be that time calculations go astray. What if you don’t quite make it to a hotel one night? Be sure to pack a tent and blankets just in case a campground is close. Sleeping in the car is possible but not all that comfortable. Even if this isn’t an issue, the family may enjoy a night of camping under the stars. After all, a family road trip is an adventure that’s about the journey, not the destination.
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