Here are 10 tips to ensure you have a fun, safe, and smooth trip.
- Service your car. There is nothing worse than setting off on a road trip and breaking down along the way—especially on a hot day with kids in tow. Get your car checked out before you take off. Make sure fluids are topped off and tires properly inflated or purchase new tires if they are worn out.
- Plan properly. Before you even get in the car, plan your destination and route. A portable GPS device or smart phone navigation app can help guide you to your vacation spot, but always have paper map as backup. Try to drive during off-peak hours to avoid traffic or other delays.
- Check your car seats. As many as 80 percent of car seats may not be properly installed. Also, have your seat inspected to make sure it’s safe. Find a station near you at: http://www.seatcheck.org or NHTSA Child Safety Seat Inspection Station Locator. The government recently updated the car seat guidelines to keep children rear-facing longer and keep older children in a seat to the highest weight and height allowed by the manufacturer. Also, make sure all children under 13 ride in the backseat.
- Pack well. Loose items in the car can become dangerous projectiles in a crash. Secure all luggage and gear in the trunk or cargo area. If children are playing with toys, try to keep ones they are not using tucked away.
- Bring all the necessities. Driving with kids means you need to make sure you have enough drinks and snacks, not just for the trip, but in case there is a problem and you are stuck on the road longer than expected. Also, don’t forget garbage bags, baby wipes, and paper towels, just in case.
- Keep them entertained. Kids can get bored driving long distances, so prepare by bringing all types of music, movies, books, and games to keep them occupied. Apple iPads and smart phones can also be helpful and portable for keeping children busy. Be sure to grab any essential power cords and batteries, as well as head phones. Low-tech options include driving games such as I-Spy or looking for red cars or counting exits.
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, i mean common we all hate annoying passengers even if they are our kids are friends...! sometimes i just want piece and quiet while i drive.. other times windows down cruising and listening to tunes!