The family road trip is a tradition that you can’t break. The road has its charms that the convenience of a flight could never take away; however, hours on the road can be a very trying experience, even when you travel with loved ones. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some things that you can do to make it a painless experience for you.
Take Your Car to a Mechanic
Before you take your car on the road, you should prepare your vehicle for it by taking it to a mechanic shop. Many things can go wrong on the way. When you ask a mechanic to take a look at your car, you can ensure that everything is in good condition for the trip. You might even ask for a tune-up so that it performs well on the drive. Your road trip is going to be trouble enough. You do not want to deal with your car breaking down in the middle of the journey.
Think About Your Pets
This issue will come up when you have a family pet. Most long-range road trips will take weeks. Bringing along an animal is going to be a problem since it will have to either stay in a carrier or the back seat. If possible, it is a good idea to leave your pet with the neighbors or with a pet care facility.
But leaving them behind is not always a possibility. If you do end up having to bring the pet or pets along, you need to know how well they travel. They might already have some experience, but if they don’t, you should test them out with some short trips first. You should also talk with veterinarians about vaccinations and health certificates if you are crossing any state lines. You should also provide your pets with tags that have their name and your contact information. If your pet is a bit skittish about traveling, then you can ask for a tranquilizer that will calm down your pets during the ride.
Have a Plan
Everything will go much more smoothly if you have an idea of what you will be doing. The first thing you should be planning is what route you will take. Unless this trip is not your first time to go to a destination, then you need to trace what roads you will take. Many people depend on GPS maps, but it is better to plan the entire trip long before you leave. This ensures that you can choose a path that will take you through good pit stops for the trip.
It is not just the route that you have to plan out. If you don’t want a surprise from your kids, it is a good idea on what your activities you will do to keep them busy. While games and other activities on the road are important, letting your child out to tire themselves can be a great idea. This is where having nice pit stops are a good idea. Letting them run around for an hour or so in a roadside museum or a playground for an hour will be enough to sap their energy for any trouble. This should keep them quiet and behaved for some time.
Car Activities That Make Them Think
While in the car, you don’t want children to be rowdy or excited. Plan to give them some mental stimulation while on the drive. This keeps them quiet and busy for most of the trip. There are several things that you can give them that will occupy their attention. One is a simple mapping activity. Give them copies of the route and have them trace it out. This ensures that they know where they are going and where they are right now.
You can also offer them some scrapbooks to create. Scissors, pencils, and tape can allow them to make a bright collage of various mementos. Drop by roadside stores for postcards and souvenirs that they can add. Finally, there is the old fallback of giving them something to watch or hear. There are many DVDs out there that can keep their attention. Install a portable DVD player and bring some headphones so that your kids can enjoy their entertainment without distracting you.
A road trip with your family can be a memorable experience. As long as you eliminate some of the major problems facing you, it can be a smooth ride. Start your preparations early to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything and you can be sure of having a great time.