By Jerry Del Priore and Max Warehouse
Are we there yet?
Yes, the ever-loving battle cry from your children while road-tripping it with the family during Spring Break.
But you don’t want to miss out because taking the time out over the spring break holiday allows families to reconnect and create lasting, enjoyable memories, whether you’re driving to a warm weather destination or just visiting family.
With Spring Break just around the bend, here are six tips from Maxwarehouse.com—the one-stop online shop for all your home, garden and auto needs—that will help make your family road trip organized, safe and stress-free (for the most part).
- Schedule a Service Check on Your Car.
Before you take off on a car excursion with the family, take your automobile for a trip to the service station for a tune up.
A well-maintained car will be more reliable and safe. Check the oil, power steering fluid, windshield wiper fluid, transmission fluid, and brake fluid. Also check your tires’ air pressure, have the them aligned and replaced if necessary.
While you’re at it, have your brakes checked and get brake pads replaced if needed.
Lastly, check your lights to make sure all are working properly—including headlights, high beams, brake lights, turn signals and reverse lights. It’s not only safe, but it may also help you avoid unnecessary tickets, which is a real vacation bummer.
In the event of an emergency, make sure your car is well-stocked. Start with a first aid kit. Also, make sure to pack extra water and cell phone chargers.
Keep the following items stashed in your trunk: jumper cables, flairs, blankets, water, fire extinguisher, mini tire compressor, basic tools, rope/bungee cord, and a flashlight.
Your trip will likely go off without a hitch, but it never hurts to act like a boy scout: be prepared.
- Plan Your Accommodations in Advance.
Always book hotels or make overnight arrangements ahead of time. Spontaneous travel can be fun, but usually not when traveling as an unprepared family.
Spring Breaks are a busy time and many hotels book full occupancy during this time. Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to research the area a bit and make sure you’re staying in a safe part of town. You can also make sure you get the amenities you’re looking for, such as a pool for the kids, gym for youtself or a continental breakfast for all.
- Bring Healthy Food & Snacks
Pack a small cooler with lots of healthy, easy-to-consume snacks, so you’re not at the mercy of overpriced gas stations, convenience stores or fast food chains. Depending on where you are in the trip, you can go many miles without hitting a store and end up with hungry, cranky kids, which can make a long road trip even longer and more miserable.
Schedule plenty of restroom breaks along the way. Allow the kids to get out and stretch. Focus on the journey, not just getting to the destination. Make it fun by stopping at points of interest to snap photos and learn about the sites along the way.
It doesn’t have to be the Statue of Liberty; kids love seeing the World’s Biggest Ball of Yarn or the Corn Palace. In addition, take along travel games, audio books, movies, art supplies, electronics, and tell stories or sing to make the time pass more quickly. The kids can also scrapbook or write about the trip when they return home.
- Childproofing for Your Destination.
Whether your destination includes staying at a hotel, friend’s house or with family, bring along electrical outlet covers and travel baby gates to protect your child in a new environment.
Be aware that cribs or play yards provided by hotels may not meet current safety standards. If you have any doubt about the safety of the crib or play yard, ask for a replacement or consider other options (for example: put a mattress on the floor).
Wherever you go, have a safe and fun road tripping adventure!