March 28, 2017

How to Get Your Car Ready for a Family Road Trip

How to Get Your Car Ready for a Family Road Trip
Last summer, we took more trips than I have ever taken in my life. We were never home for more than a few weeks at a time and we got to explore the entire state of Michigan. It was amazing! Along the way, I learned a bunch of tips for packing for a trip to make your road trip more enjoyable. Trust me, traveling with a child can be crazy and anything to make it a little bit easier is so helpful.

1. Stock your car with snacks

My daughter and I are huge snackers so we make sure to always have a bunch of snacks for any road trip. Our favorites are fresh fruit, bars, pouches, string cheese, nuts, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and more. Don't pack anything too smelly or messy- you will regret it late. For some reason, I tend to think it's a smart idea giving a toddler yogurt in the car. It ends in a huge mess nearly every time haha!

2. Clean out the car

I find it so much nicer leaving for a trip when the car is clean. I take out all the trash and extra items that we do not need in there before leaving for a trip. If anything needs a wipe down, I do that as well.

Adalyn says "Mom, can we please go already!"!

When you are spending a lot of time in a car, it is so much better if the car is clean than messy. Plus, when you take out the items that you do not need, you will have more room for the many bags of stuff you do need.

For a long trip, we stock a bag with a whole bunch of toys- better safe than sorry!

3. Stock your car with activities for kids

We are not huge on letting Adalyn watch a ton of TV so if we have a long car ride ahead, we plan more than just watching shows (though we do have an iPad that we usually let her watch a show or movie on). In the beginning of the trip, we tell her just to look out the window and enjoy the ride.

Adalyn last year at the start of one of our trips!
Then, we give her some of the books that we bring which she loves. She also likes working on her letters in the car with flash cards. She also has one of those erasable drawing boards that are perfect for the car.

Jaxen, our driver ; )
Whatever it is that your kids like, make sure that their favorite toys or books are easily accessible in the car to avoid meltdowns. I've made the mistake of packing them in the back of the car which is not helpful at all!

On our trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan last summer, we planned out all of our stops so that we could make it to as many amazing waterfalls as possible!

4. Plan your stops ahead of time

It is helpful to know where you are going to stop on a road trip ahead of time. That way, you know where you are going to eat (if you didn't bring your own food) and when, you have an idea how long it is until the next bathroom break, etc. I like checking RetailMeNot to see if there are any coupons for where we plan to stop and checking apps for the best gas prices around to save a little bit of money. There may also be fun stops along that way that you may want to make and it is helpful to research them ahead of time so you don't miss any must-do adventures.

5. Make sure that your car is safe and in the best condition possible

Before leaving for any trip, especially a long car ride, you are going to want to make sure that your car is in great condition. This includes having safe tires, making sure that you do not need an oil change, making sure you have enough air in your tires, your wipers are in good condition and that you have enough wiper fluid for example.

For our upcoming trips this summer (which will be far less with a newborn baby but we still like to go up north to my parent's farm), Troy gave my new-to-me minivan a thorough check to make sure it is ready to go. Along with an oil change and pumping up the tires a big, he changed the cabin air filter. Then, our car was ready to go for the road trip!

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  1. We absolutely love to go on family road trips. We traveled last summer from Florida to Maine, and during Winter Break, we traveled from Florida to Louisiana. Such a great way to see our nation! #client


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