Tips For A Safe Family Road Trip Every Driver Should Know

Road trip landscape

From car safety to keeping the kids occupied, before any road trip, it’s important to make a checklist to make sure you’ve left no stone unturned. Once you’ve done that, it’s time for action. Getting the car serviced and gassed up, gathering healthy snacks and fun activities for the kiddos, and making sure you’re well-rested are just a few of the things you’ll need to take care of before embarking on your trip. Here are some tips for where to begin.

The car

Even if your trip won’t take much more than a couple of hours, it’s still important to make sure your vehicle is properly maintained. It’s a good idea to take it into a trusted dealer for an oil change and make sure all the fluid levels and tire pressures are where they need to be. If you haven’t replaced your windshield wipers in a while, go ahead and change them. You don’t want to be stuck on the highway with a blurry windshield when a freak storm pops up.

Road trip - driver's view

What will the kids need?

Depending on the age of your children, they will have different needs in the car. Most kids of all ages will appreciate having something to do, so it’s not a bad idea to put together a small bag or backpack for each child that holds coloring books and crayons, MP3 players, books or E-readers, and tablets. Make sure each child has their own headphones or earbuds to keep fighting over noise levels at a minimum. If you’re planning on stopping for fast food during the trip, grab a small basket from the dollar store for each child that they can put their food and drinks in. This will keep hot food off bare legs and help prevent spills. If you have a child who suffers from motion sickness, stock up on medication to keep their symptoms at bay and keep paper bags and a small package of baby wipes handy in case someone gets sick.

There are tons of games kids can play in the car if their activities lose appeal; find a list here.

Road trip landscape

Snacks like raisins, fruit snacks, granola bars, and packs of cheese and crackers can be invaluable on a car trip, especially if you’ll be driving for long stretches in between stops. You can throw some of these into each child’s bag so they can grab what they want without distracting you from driving.

Prepare for the weather

Even if you check the weather forecast every day before you leave, it’s impossible to accurately predict what you might be driving through; sometimes Mother Nature likes to throw a surprise in just to keep us on our toes. Check the weather report, but prepare your car for any contingency. Keep a strong flashlight, some emergency ponchos, road flares, snacks like granola bars or raisins, and a gallon of water in the trunk. If you get stuck during a flash flood or bad storm, you’ll be prepared, and if you have to stay put for a while before help comes, you’ll have water and food for everyone.

Winter road trip

Rest up!

One of the most important ways to prepare for a trip is to make sure you’re well-rested. Lack of sleep can cause severe harm to the body and brain, which can spell trouble when you’re behind the wheel. If you find you have too much on your mind in the weeks leading up to the trip, get organized. Having lists and being prepared can help you relax when it’s time to lay down in bed at night.

Road trip break

Don’t forget the house

It’s not a bad idea to go through the house and make sure all the doors and windows are tightly locked, that batteries in smoke detectors, alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors are new, and that possible fire hazards–such as blocked dryer vents–are taken care of. If you have a pet sitter coming to take care of animals who can’t make the trip, make sure they know the rules of the house and that they have emergency numbers and alarm codes on hand. If no one will be at home, you can set your thermostat a bit higher (or lower, depending on the time of year) than it would be normally to save your energy costs for the month. Knowing your home is well taken care of can give you peace of mind that will allow you to stay fully focused while driving.

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Tips For A Safe Family Road Trip Every Driver Should Know Tips For A Safe Family Road Trip Every Driver Should Know

Tips For A Safe Family Road Trip Every Driver Should Know

11 Comment to “Tips For A Safe Family Road Trip Every Driver Should Know”

  1. Such a lot of great advice here for anyone driving. I think people can get so complacent about driving and thats when accidents can happen. Thank you so much for reminding me to be safe out there on the road.

  2. Anne says:

    Some great tips here although not something we massively have to worry about in the Uk as we don’t have extremes in the u.k

  3. Great tips. Being well rested is so important so many accidents and fatalities happen because people fall asleep at the wheel. All great reminders to be safe and have a great road trip.

  4. Hallie says:

    Great tips. It’s amazing how just a few hours drive can change completely when there are kids in the mix. More stops, more meals, more everything and less quiet. Lots of things to consider and packing a good back of things for them is so so important and useful.

  5. The article has listed and described all the necessary points that have to be carried out and remembered while undertaking a road trip. The tips are very good as they avoid hassles at a later stage of road trips as well as extremely important.

  6. Jo says:

    Great tips there. Do you often use house/pet sitters? do you use the free sites or paid services of professional sitters? I am curious and want to try out house sitting.
    Interesting read.

  7. Cori says:

    Making sure you’re well rested before driving is so important! Since I don’t have a car, I’m usually only driving on road trips. I scratched a rental car on a road trip when I was too jet lagged to drive (plus, driving is really different in the US and Europe!). Luckily it was just embarrassing, not dangerous, and insurance covered the damage.

  8. Sarah Kim says:

    You sound so prepared that I wish I was one of your kids traveling with you 🙂 The tip about getting an oil change and maintaining your car beforehand.

  9. Good advice! I don’t have any family and I don’t know how to drive, so it’s unlikely that a road trip is in my future, but you never know. However, tips like ‘look out for the weather” and “take care of the house” are always useful. 🙂

  10. Ami Bhat says:

    The one thing I always prefer when doing a roadtrip is to drive by the day, morning light anyday to the evening ones. The rest of the tips you have already covered. Road trips are just so much fun as long as you keep safe and are prepared.

  11. Doctear says:

    Hey Alina,

    Absolutely the best tips 🙂 Safety is always the priority in my every travel. And I agree that being well rested is a must.

    And yes, ear buds are my best travel buddy (especially for long flights and with kids in the car, lol! 😉

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