How to Pack for a Stress Free Road Trip

roadtripSummer is here, and for many of us that means that oh-so-longed-for vacation is in the near future! Whether you are traveling near or far, a little planning and preparation equals a much more enjoyable road trip.

Comfort and convenience is an important aspect of any road trip, especially when you’re traveling with kids. Pack a small bag for each person for use in the car. For kids, the bag might include handheld electronics, books, small toys, pencil and paper, coloring books, and crayons. Suggestions for adults would include books, magazines, and electronics. Of course, snacks and drinks should be accessible to all passengers. So keep a cooler and bag with cold drinks and car-friendly snacks. Make sure to have some favorites for everyone.

Pack all heavy items and bags you don’t need to access during the ride in the bottom of the trunk or cargo area. Don’t stack items too high, because the driver should have a clear view of the rear window. And don’t forget to secure all items to prevent them from shifting in case of a sudden stop or acceleration. If you don’t have enough cargo space, a roof-top carrier might be a good option for you. With improvements such as weather-proofing, more aerodynamic design and ease of use, roof-top carriers are ideal to create extra needed space.

Make sure your car is in tip-top shape by having all routine maintenance up to date. An upcoming road trip is the perfect time to have the tires rotated, the oil changed and fluids topped off. If any warning lights are on, have them checked and resolved before your trip. A well-stocked emergency kit is another essential item to have in the car. Some recommended items for an emergency kit are a first aid kit, hazard triangles and/or flares, flashlight, jumper cables, tire gauge and fire extinguisher.

Don’t forget the fun stuff! Movies are a great way to make the time fly during a trip, so bring some of your family’s favorite movies. If your vehicle doesn’t have a built-in entertainment center, there are other options like a portable DVD player, laptop, or tablet. When all else fails – and even when it doesn’t – it’s time to get everyone involved with a road trip game. Some of the most popular games are “I Spy,” “20 Questions,” “License Plate Game” and “I’m Going on a Picnic.”

Before you head out of town, following these tips can make for a hassle-free trip. A little effort can go a long way to everyone’s comfort and enjoyment. Our most important tip – let the fun and relaxation begin!