The family summer road trip is an American tradition just like apple pie and baseball. Upcoming holidays like Memorial Day and the 4th of July are great weekends to hit the road for some family fun. We have a few tips to make sure that you’re ready for the family’s big road trip.
On any road trip the most important item to prepare is the family car. If you’re not going to rent a car, making sure your personal vehicle is road ready is crucial. It’s a good idea to have the regularly scheduled service performed (even if it is slightly ahead of schedule) before your trip. In addition to the regular servicing it’s also important to check the following yourself:
- Double check and top off all vital engine fluids. I remember one time my father had our station wagon (no cool SUV’s/minivans back then lol) serviced. And just before we hit the road, he double checked things under the hood and he discovered the anti-freeze and windshield washer fluid hadn’t been topped off. Needless to say when we returned they got an earful. (lol)
- Inspect your tires, windshield wiper blades, radiator hoses and belts.
- Have the family car washed or detailed. Nothing is more comfortable (or cuter) than riding in a freshly cleaned car.
- Gas up the day/night before. Gassing up the car the night before eliminates another task in the morning rush, allowing you to get on the road to fun a lot sooner.
Preparation is the key to any successful trip especially a road trip. Here are a few more tips to help your family road trip flow smoothly.
- Create a road trip budget. This budget will be in addition to your destination spending budget. The key elements of the road trip budget are gas, food and tolls. You know your car’s fuel efficiency better than anyone. Add 20% to the normal amount for a full tank. Give the kids a road trip allowance and let them manage their own money.
- Pack a few snacks. To help with the food costs on the road, visit your favorite store and stock up on everyone’s favorite snacks along with a cooler full of water and beverages.
- Consider an E-Z Pass. If your road trip will include a lot of tolls, consider buying an E-Z Pass. The E-Z Pass will eliminate waiting in the cash lane and the last minute rush to gather the right amount before you reach the toll booth. (lol) Take your E-Z Pass with you when you park your car, thefts of E-Z Passes are on the rise.
- Remember your destination and which activities the family enjoys. Pack the necessary tools and toys for your activities. If your family is full of beach lovers and swimmers, pack a lot of beach towels, sunscreen and sandcastle building toys/tools. (lol).
- Pack the gadgets! Make sure that everyone has their favorite electronic toys along with a main charger and a backup charger.
The most important thing to remember on any family road trip is to have fun and enjoy this time with your family!
BMWK family what are your favorite summer road trip destinations?
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