COVID has changed the way we travel and with multiple holidays in the next few months, finding way to vacation and escape may seem more difficult. Flying is still scary for many and a road trip may be the chosen method. Every state has small wonders worth visiting, so here are our tips for having a successful road trip.
1. Before you start, it’s worth it to clean out your car. Because you’ll be spending a lot of time in it and, if you have kids, there may be many people in one small space, beginning the trip with a fresh car will go a long way. The trip is bound to accrue trash so don’t make it worse by setting off with gum wrappers already under your seats. Give the car a once-over with the vacuum and find a car trash bag - it’ll make containing debris much easier.
2. Be ready for emergencies--check your oil, tire pressure, and windshield wiper fluid before setting off. It’s worth making sure you have a battery jump starter (fully charged) and cables in case you accidentally run your battery down. And it’s worth looking into roadside assistance options, such as AAA or one offered by your insurance company. Be sure that you carry the appropriate cards on your trip.
3. In this day and age, having backup batteries to charge electronics is always a plus. As much as it seems we are addicted to our phones, it is worth having a charged one should you get lost.
4. Road maps! They are not antiquated! If you run out of service, a paper map will be hugely beneficial. Don’t underestimate them.
5. Snacks and, very importantly, wet wipes and hand sanitizer. No one wants a hangry car buddy, no one wants upset children, and no one wants to have to skip snack time because their hands are dirty. Drivers should also apply BRUSH ON BLOCK® to the backs of hands for any day-time driving. The windshield and clouds only filter so much sunlight, and if keeping your hands looking youthful is a concern, block as much UV light as possible!
6. Honestly, hand sanitizer should have its own section. Its importance cannot be underscored. It has always been beneficial where germs are concerned but now that COVID is an underlying worry, having hand sanitizer ready can keep you safe and give you peace of mind.
7. Pick some tunes. Have everyone going put together a playlist so you’re well stocked with different sounds. And if everyone contributes, everyone will be happy. Also helpful to fiddle with before leaving is how to fade sound to the front or back of the car. Most cars have this ability and it can come in handy if some members want quiet and others don’t.
8. Embrace the unpredictability of road trips. Don’t worry about making good time, enjoy the journey. If you see a cool hike or viewpoint, stop and take it in. If you need a restroom break, take it. Be ok with a little boredom, and bring some quiet activities: if you can read in the car, have a book, bring some simple painting, coloring, or friendship bracelet making supplies, have a movie, maybe try some meditation (if you’re not driving). Learning to be ok in the quiet will be beneficial not just on the trip but in life in general.
9. Stop every two to three hours. Restroom breaks are important and, with kids, very necessary. Don’t feel bad about taking them. Use the excuse to get out of the car and stretch your legs. Swap drivers. And don’t forget hand sanitizer.
10. Accept the inevitable. You can never be 100% prepared, and that’s ok. Commit to enjoying yourself. There will be hiccups, kids will cry, and you will end up looking back on this trip fondly.