Road trips are the best! being on the road with your family is one way of bonding that will not only bring you closer together but will also gain you and your family new perspectives and one-of-a-kind experiences on the road.
Planning a summer road trip requires a thorough checklist, travel games, summer car care for safety travels, and of course, an itinerary of the lifetime! So, leave your winter worries away and embrace summer with your brim hat on and some SPF.
Table of Contents
Summer Car Care Tips
Check Your Car's Fluid Levels
You can check your fluid levels yourself so you will know whether or not it needs a refill. If you're going to a mechanic for a thorough inspection, then you can ask to have your fluid levels checked and refill it if necessary.
Practice Oil Change Periodically
It is crucial to change your oil whenever needed. failing to do so will lead to a failing engine which is a vital part of the car. when checking your oil, be sure your car is cooled down. When checking the oil, consider these things: the level of the oil and its color or texture. if the oil is amber in color, it means it's still clean and new. On the other hand, if the oil has dark palettes and is thick in texture, it is a sure sign that it needs changing.
Faulty transmission fluid can lead to a faulty drive when you change your gears. Your transmission is another major part of the car that must always be in excellent condition especially when traveling with your kids. When checking your transmission, make sure it's hot. Locate the dipstick and check your transmission's fluid level to know whether or not to fill, but, never overfill. Moreover, check the color of your transmission fluid. Make sure that it is clear and pinkish in color. if otherwise, you will need to change it.
Coolant Reservoir And Washer Fluid Refill
When on the road with your kids this summer, make sure you have a coolant reservoir. Check your auto's manual for the appropriate coolant level. There are coolants that need to be mixed before adding water and both need to be in the same volume. Some are pre-mixed, hence there's no need to mix before putting it in your reservoir.
Additionally, washer fluid just simply needs to be refilled when your reservoir is empty. Just keep in mind not to overfill.
Changing Windshield Wiper Blades
Wiper blades keep your vision behind the shield clear in cases of rain or dust. Before going on an adventure with your kids in your car, make sure your wiper blades are fully functional. You can change it yourself with these easy steps:
- Pull your wiper blades and turn the blade outwards to take it off your windshield.
- Then, you will a clip that holds the wiper blades. You can slide the blades down to the direction of the windshield and slowly release them from the wiper arm.
- After, slide the blade a bit leaning towards the side to easily fit the hook into the hole of the blade arm.
- Remove the blade.
- Put the new blade in reverse order.
- Then, poke the hook until you reach the blade hole. Slide the clip to the hook. Make sure it is firmly positioned.
- Lastly, you can now embed the new wiper arm.
Changing Air Filters
Your car's air filter has to be pristine to avoid decreased acceleration, horsepower, and poor overall performance of the vehicle. these car troubles can be caused by a dirty air filter which also significantly restricts airflow. You can change your air filters yourself, here's how:
- Look at your auto manual and locate your air filter housing.
- The lid is usually held by a couple of clips to station it in place. Unlatch the clip to raise the lid.
- After taking the cover out, you will see the air filter inside and take it out.
- Replace your old one with a new one.
- Put back the lid and latch in place.
What to Put in Your Road Trip Travel Kit
Here are some great travel books for kids and books to inspire wanderlust. Books are something to entertain your kids while on a drive, stopping over to fill gas, or when you are resting in your hotel room. Choose books that are ideal for your kid's age. For toddlers, you can pick board books while for older children, books with images will keep them entertained. Books are also a great way to educate your kids while on the road and you can look for books related to your destinations so your kids will be more motivated to sustain the hours spent in the car.
Coloring Books and Crayons
If your little ones get motion sickness reading inside a moving car, you can opt for coloring books to keep them occupied. You can put on some kid's playlists to induce a good mood and to make the car rides more bearable for kids.
Your Kid's Favorite Toys
Books and coloring books won't be enough to sustain kids' minuscule attention; hence, toys are essential. Bring your kid's favorite toys with you but not all. You can also bring toys perfect for your destination. if you are going by the beach, you can bring some shovels and buckets for a day at the beach. If you are looking for more ways to keep your kids entertained, here are more tips to make traveling in a car with kids fun.
Bring Sports Water Bottle
On the road, it is vital to hydrate. Water is essential especially when traveling with kids who tend to move around a lot and get thirsty a lot. So, bring a large water bottle to suffice your kid's hydration needs until your next stop. Although giving kids too much water on the road will lead to constant potty breaks, but it is still best to keep them hydrated to prevent more serious issues on the road.
Another kid's entertainment on the road is food. Kids love snacking. So, before you go, fill your car up with snacks that will sustain your kid's constant snacking hobby. Choose snacks that aren't messy and easy to clean. Chips, crackers, cookies, and some cheeses can be a great option for kids' snacks on the road. They are not messy and you almost need not clean after.
Gadgets and Headphones
It is always a good idea to have backup when it comes to packing your kids' entertainment needs. You can fill your gadget with games that will hold your kid's attention for a long time. Also, headphones will come in handy if your kids want to watch a film or cartoons while waiting for the time to arrive at your destination.
When it is time for rest, your kids must also rest. However, kids are kids and they will always have a lot of energy all the time not unless if they've been playing excessively. You can bring a ball, frisbee, and other outdoor toys to help burn your kid's energy while traveling. Let them play and run around whenever you stop by for snacks or comfort room breaks. It is the most effective way of getting your kids to bed when you arrive at your hotel room.
Pillows and Blankets
Kids also tend to nap a lot when on the road. There are kids who feel sleepy inside a moving vehicle. Thus, it is essential to bring your kids some sleeping comfort when on the road. Bring some blankets and pillows to help your kids get a good rest while you're driving.
Storage Tips for Road Trips
Hanging Backseat Organizers
Backseat organizers are convenient for kids to reach for what they need while safely buckled up. You can store your kid's toys, books, and other essentials right in front of them so they need not ask you for it all the time. Hanging backseat organizers take little to no space since it is attached at the back of you front seats. Hence, convenient and space-saving.
Gear or Office Organizers
If you have extra office organizers just sitting at home, you can use them to store your road trip essentials. It can serve as your modified first aid kit storage box or you can keep all your kid's essentials fully covered and secured.
It's hard to manage inside a car filled with random things all over the place. It can be a drag trying to look for one thing and you find another. If you want to instantly know where you placed all your kids' snacks for the road trip, put it in one organizer or box, with a lid preferably to keep the snacks in place and keep away insects, ants, and dust.
Crayon or Coloring Materials Organizers
Art materials can be hard to clean up especially with kids mindlessly putting them anywhere. You don't want to accidentally sit on a crayon with your site pants on. So, to keep your kid's art things all in one place, bring along another set of organizers for your kid's crayons, pencils, eraser, and coloring books.
Safety Road Trip Tips with Kids This Summer
Book a Vacation Rental in Advance
Road trips can be very exhausting not only for you but also for the kids. It is best to book a rental house to recharge your family in a place that feels like home. Rental homes are ideal for road trips since you will have the freedom to cook your own food and do laundry.
A week before your great adventure, look for a rental house in your destination. See if it has its own kitchen and laundry. Also, you can opt for a rental house near the beach or mountains and try to avoid the city bustles. Road trips are meant to be done someplace outdoors with a view. So to fully give your kids the best road trip of their lives, looks for rentals someplace where your kids can go outside and play, meet other local kids, and connect with the local culture. So, explore online first and book the most ideal rental house for your family.
Roll Into Vacation with an RV
If you can get a hold of an RV rental for your road trip the better. RVs are spacious; hence you need not have to worry about space shortage. Also, it has a bigger room for your kids to move freely instead of just sitting in your family car for hours. If you ride an RV during your road trip, it will be less exhausting and safer on the road. You also don't need to stop over to some random comfort rooms because you have your own. RVs also have a mini kitchen that lets you make home-cooked meals while driving. Moreover, RVs have a comfortable sleeping area, so you save a lot of money on hotel rooms during the night. However, one important tip, if you're taking an RV, research where you can park overnight along the way.
Go Camping Under the Stars
Kids will love the idea of sleeping under the stars and building bonfires outdoors. They will enjoy a night circling around a campfire waiting for their smores to melt. Camping under the stars will be a whole new experience for your kids and it will be an enjoyable and memorable one.
When camping under the stars, make sure to bring tents, sleeping bags, and other camping essentials for the kids. Additionally, you need to look for a place where there are not many people to keep your kids safe amidst the pandemic.
Camping under the stars does not necessarily mean you need to bring your kids to a remote area or let them hike in the woods for hours. You can research places where you can safely set up a camp with your family. The beach is always an ideal choice because it has space, a great view, a comforting breeze, and stars that almost look like sands in the sky during a dark flightless night.
Explore National Parks
Kids would love to explore national parks. So, when making your route, you can include in your itinerary some random stop-over at a national park. It will be a great way for the kids to take a break from the dragging car rides and stretch their bodies.
Kids will enjoy the outdoors and national parks are safe for kids to go about their curious business. So, before you head on your road trip, research the national parks you get to pass by along the way and make time for road trip leisure. National parks will recharge your kid's moods and will be excited for the next one for sure.
Family-Friendly Road Trip Stop-Over Spots in America
Bald Head Island, North Carolina
If you want to go all out and road trip your way to an explicit island, Bald Head Island is a perfect place to end your road trip. It has a total of 10,000 acres of protected land safe for you and your kids to explore. Bald Head Island is comprised of rental homes which makes it more convenient for family travelers. Bald Head Island is a tropical paradise for East Coasters.
Barnsley Resort, Georgia
Barnsley Resort is another practical yet fantastic choice for a family on the go. It is a perfect outdoor escape for families who have been craving to reconnect with nature and refresh their minds from the daily mundane living back at home. Barnsley Resort has private cottages and guest rooms that can accommodate all your family's needs.
C Lazy U Ranch, Colorado
If you want something high-end and luxurious but at the same time something that exudes a radical adventure, C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado has over 8,500 remote acres for kids to go galivanting. It is almost like a private national park but better and probably safer. C Lazy U Ranch offers horseback riding and they are known for their excellent horsemanship. Hence, your kids will likely conquer their fear and learn to ride a galloping horse.
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa, Texas
Hyatt Regency is over 405 acres of land with 18 miles of hiking trails. It offers kayak adventures along the Colorado River and some laidback horseback riding around nature. Hyatt Regency also has a golf course at the Wolfdancer Golf Club where you can enjoy a quiet afternoon socializing with other parents while your kids enjoy some of the hotel's kid-friendly amenities and activities.
Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan
Grand Hotel is also known as the "America's Summer Place". This beautiful tropical place is situated at Mackinac Island which is very accessible for a family traveling. Grand Hotel is surrounded by a beautiful garden where your kids can enjoy biking around while you golf with some new friends you met at the golf course. It is a lakeside resort that your kids would love to explore its beautiful nature and go visit some historical sites. Lastly, on Mackinac Island, cars are not allowed. Hence, you will need to walk, bike, or ride a horse-drawn carriage for a more dramatic appeal.
Big Cedar Lodge, Missouri
If you want an awe-inspiring wilderness adventure for your kids, stop by Big Cedar Lodge if you are driving around or near Missouri. It is a 4,600-acre resort along Ozark's Mountain. It has a beautiful backdrop of wide green hills with a mystical alluring view of Table Rock Lake. It has cozy cottages and log cabins that will make you feel like your in the middle of the woods somewhere, of which you actually are.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars
Road trips are a fun way for kids to learn, explore, and quench their thirst for an actual adventure instead of just reading or watching it in a movie. Adventure with family brings one another closer given the shared wonderful memorable moments. So travel with your kids while they're young and their minds still open with possibilities and innocence. Teach them how to live life through traveling and exploring the vast planet.
As a bonus, here are some travel smart tips and tricks. So pack your bags, load the car, round up the family, and unleash your wanderlust.
Stay well, be well and stay social