Before you venture out on a road trip, use this checklist to ensure your car is stocked with essentials and in prime condition!
1. Clean and Organize Your Car - This should be your very first step in road trip preparation! Remove any unnecessary items (extra umbrella, shopping bags, toys, etc.) and clean out any trash floating around. Vacuuming the interior and washing the exterior are also great tasks to complete, but not totally necessary. To keep your car organized, purchase a trunk organizer to help keep the items in your cargo space contained.
2. Service Your Car - Have your oil changed, check the tire pressure, top your fluids off, and check your vehicle battery. Extra oil and washer fluid should always be kept in your vehicle, so store those in your trunk organizer!
3. Prepare for an Emergency - As much as you hate to think about something going wrong, it's always a good idea to be prepared just in case! Good items to have in your vehicle include: First Aid Kit, a Roadside Emergency Kit (or at the minimum, a set of jumper cables), a gallon of water, and a warm blanket. (If you're traveling in the winter time, add a snow brush and ice scraper to your list.) You should also make sure your vehicle has a spare tire kit (not all newer models come with one) and have a list of emergency contacts ready.
4. Setting Your GPS and Directions - Update your GPS maps and software and any apps you use for directions. We also recommend printing a set of directions going to your destination and leaving to go home. Sometimes you might not have a signal depending where you are and a printed copy is a nice backup. It's always better to be over prepared!
5. Snacks - Healthy snacks are a must! (You can find great snack ideas on Pinterest.)
6. Games - When traveling with children, travel-friendly games are essential. Download any apps/games to tablets, bring travel board games (some have magnetic pieces which is perfect for in the car), and don't forget a portable DVD player!
7. Electronics - Make sure to have all electronics fully charged the night before you leave and grab those car chargers on your way out the door in the morning!
8. Necessities You Should Have In the Cabin at All Times - Kleenex, Hand Sanitizer, Wipes, Napkins, Ziplocs, Trash Bags, and even plastic silverware and paper plates - you never know when you're going to need any of these!
9. Suitcases/Bags - Pack everything you and your family need (clothes, medications, toiletries, etc.) as you normally would!