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Going on a road trip with your loved ones onboard brings a special kind of romance in the air. Your car is filled with high hopes, your eyes are full of magnificent and vivid sights, and your stomach is enjoying some really great food. Not to mention it’s the perfect opportunity for some quality family bonding.
Different people imagine road trips in a different way. Ones are just looking for a cozy ride to a more comfortable bed and breakfast. Others would love to make stops for some trekking, and there are even those who would like to spend a night camping.
If you’re just gonna ride a plane from point A to point B, you’ll be missing all these things that happen in between. Besides the fact that road trips are highly practical and cost-effective, they’re also one of the best ways to create life-long memories and grow as a family.
Some people tend to think that bringing your kids on a road trip can turn this fun experience into an exhausting one. Yes, it can – but only if you’re not doing it right. If the road trip is not done right, there is a possibility of breaking the family bonds, rather than strengthening them. But every bad experience can be prevented.
Although going on a road trip should be an adventure, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require some planning. You need to be aware of the gear – from the things that would be great to have to those that are essential for reaching your destination without losing your mind. It would also be smart to have a backup plan (or even two) if things go sideways.
This planning may seem like a daunting task, and that’s why we’ve put together some guidelines that will make sure your family is perfectly equipped for the journey ahead of you.
Choosing Your Wheels
Choosing the right wheels for the adventure ahead is probably the most important decision. When taking your pick, the most important things you need to think about are safety, fuel efficiency, and comfort.
For quite some time, cars have been a shiny symbol of luxury and freedom. But if you plan to drive around your loved ones more frequently, your new car needs to be much more than that. You can still look at it as a mean to go from point A to point B, but inevitably safety needs to become a much bigger priority.
And when it comes to road trips, your car needs to be able to transform into the new family room. The place that can be filled with silly games, screen time, sibling rivalry, heart-to-heart talks, sing-alongs, etc. This is why SUVs and Minivans make perfect family-friendly cars.
What distinguishes a family car is the attention to more basic features that make the trip more comfortable and easier for all family members. Most of all, high-tech active safety features that can warn a driver, detect potential crashes, and lessen the severity of an impact.
But that doesn’t mean that you’ll have to give up on the luxury. If you want the best compact luxury SUV, then Audi Q5 is what you’re looking for. Just keep in mind that these more luxurious models require more maintenance, so make sure there are appropriate services on your route. You need to find passionate and uncompromising mechanics such as Audi service Padstow has to offer, or otherwise your luxurious ride may get stuck in the middle of the road.
Are We There Yet?
It might seem silly to prioritize those squeaking tiny voices from the back, but if it comes to an emergency on the road you’ll need all the concentration you can muster. That’s why keeping your young ones engaged and satisfied becomes a number one priority.
Little kids are restless and impatient beings. To evade the consequences of all that tossing around, be sure to pack your child’s seat. And make sure you install it properly so your ‛precious little monsters’ will remain safe for the whole ride.
Of course, strapping them down to their seats won’t do the job. This is just the safety measure, not a way to keep them calm and quiet. If you stick four grownups in a confined space for a long period of time they’ll all go crazy, not to mention kids. The trick is to keep your kids in a constant state of excitement, and the easiest way to accomplish that is to take frequent rest stops. You also need to stretch from time to time, and people need a bathroom stop every now and then. Besides, if you have a toddler, there will definitely be a bathroom break after only 20 minutes from your lunch stop. If you have a baby you’re gonna need to plan meal times when it is awake and on alert.
But you shouldn’t confine the purpose of your rest stops only for putting something in your mouth, emptying the bladder, and letting your kids blow off some steam. These are all necessities, and your young ones are in hope of adventure. So it’s a good idea to pull over by roadside attractions and visit some shopping malls on the way. And don’t be afraid to make minor detours in order to visit beaches, picnic spots, or playgrounds.
But you can’t spend the whole day outside, either. Small kids are always hungry, even when they’re not. They’ll often want to eat when they’re bored, so make sure you pack enough snacks. And where there are snacks, there should also be a lot of water. Of course, if the water is only a bit warm, they won’t drink it. If chocolate snacks are melted, your back seat will be ruined. That’s why a soft cooler is mandatory.
The problem with snacks is that they get eaten quickly. So you need to be prepared to sing some songs, read aloud and don’t forget to bring lot’s of toys and car games. We would also recommend you to bring a tablet with their favorites games, movies, and shows. While it’s good to restrict its use at home, a road trip must be an exception.
Don’t forget a small garbage bag and motion sickness medicine. You’re also gonna need a plastic zip bag for numerous leftover snacks and errant game pieces.
Your young ones will get tired eventually, but they’re not comfortable enough to sleep they’re just gonna get additionally irritated. That’s why it’s important to find a good pillow. You’re gonna need the ones that can expand and don’t require much space. Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow may be the best solution. And if you’re traveling with fussy siblings, you can stick the pillows between them so each can have its own space.
Remove The Junk From The Trunk
If we’re gonna be honest, most of us use our car’s trunk as a free storage unit for things we’re never gonna use. Well, it’s time to remove all that junk and to replace it with gear that will actually be useful in the case of emergency.
It is hard to find a Good Samaritan along the open road, so the first thing you need to put inside are the jumper cables. It would also be wise to add a portable battery pack that will never need charging.
New car models don’t need frequent coolant and oil replacement, but this statistics won’t help you if you run out of it in the middle of the road. So – a bottle of coolant and a quart of oil.
Don’t ask why you need the fire extinguisher, just put it in. But make sure you purchase the dry type that’s rated A-B-C, so you’ll be able to cover any kind of fire around your car.
There are a lot of drowsy drivers during the night, so you’ll want to be seen. Roadside indicators will take care of that. And we mean flashing LED light plucks or folding reflecting triangles, not sulfur-smelling flares.
Even if you don’t know how to repair a car, a kindly stranger will need a toolkit in order to help you. And all the tools in the world won’t help you if you’ve forgotten your spare tire. If there is no one around, a duct tape could prove to be very useful.
It goes without saying that packing up your first aid kit is mandatory. Don’t make a mistake and count on running your car for heat – pack some thermal blankets. And high-vis windbreaker will take up almost no room, while you could end up replacing a tire on a rainy night.
You’ve chosen the perfect wheels, every element of adventure for your young ones is in its place, and now your trunk has everything needed in case of emergency. Just make sure you choose a reliable GPS device – although it’s good to make small detours, you’ll want to reach your destination eventually.