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If you’re preparing to go on a road trip with your family, there is much to be excited about. No matter where you’re going in the USA, there are many things to do and see. However, it is important to prepare to decrease your pre-trip anxiety and to provide the best experience for your family.
The good news is that preparing for a road trip can be fun in and of itself. As long as you know what needs to get done, you can do so without too much stress.
These road trip preparation tips apply no matter where you’re going.
1. Check your insurance policy
Before getting into the physical preparations you need to do, it is important to be ready for anything. Insurance has an incredibly important role in a family road trip. There is a chance that you will get into a collision or simply break down, and knowing what to do about it will help in a very stressful moment.
Check with your insurer what they require if you are in a collision. They will give you information about who to call, what to do, and whether there are any specifics you need to take care of when you’re out of state. Your insurer may also provide roadside assistance, which can be hugely beneficial.
You should also learn what to do in various common scenarios, like when you hit a parked car. This happens constantly, and being prepared can prevent it from becoming an issue that derails your trip.
2. Prepare the car
Nothing may be wrong with your car, but it won’t hurt to ensure. Taking your car in for a check before a road trip can give you tremendous peace of mind. Ask a technician to check your brakes, air-conditioner and ventilation, tires, and windscreen wiper blades.
Also, check that you have a spare tire in good condition, jumper cables, tools, flares, and a flashlight. Make sure your car’s first-aid kit is in good shape and replace any items that are empty or expired.
3. Download road trip apps
Road trips became a lot easier with the advent of smartphones. Instead of carrying around a pile of maps and guidebooks, you simply need Apple or Google Maps. But while your Maps app is going to be indispensable, many other apps will improve your experience.
Some of the best road trip apps include TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, GasBuddy, Roadtrippers Trip Planner, iExit Interstate Exit Guide, and Waze.
4. Discuss entertainment
Entertaining your entire family during a road trip is a tough ask. Many parents make the mistake of finding a range of activities they think their children will love. However, having a discussion with them about what they want is much more effective.
You can provide ideas if they cannot come up with their own, but including them in the conversation will get them excited for the trip. When you take their advice, they will be more invested in enjoying your chosen options.
Some great options include music from movie soundtracks, audiobooks suitable for families, scavenger hunts, and portable board games. Screens can come in handy in moderation, but the last thing you want is for your kids to have their eyes on their phones as you drive through the most beautiful locations.
5. Get (some) snacks
Snacks are incredibly important when taking your family on a road trip. You should be prepared in advance, especially with water, so your family stays hydrated. However, stopping and stocking up on snacks during the trip is also nice. Don’t take too many snacks, as you can enjoy choosing snacks at service stations along the way.
This has a couple of benefits. If you have too many snacks, your kids may chow through them too quickly and feel ill. Furthermore, road trips can get boring when activities do not break up the drive. Not all stretches can accommodate family activities, but stopping to go shopping for snacks can eliminate the tedium.
Family road trips are both exciting and intimidating, especially for first-timers. The above tips will help ensure you have the time and are prepared for anything.