As we start this month off, I am getting ready for family to visit and thinking of the sights we want to share with them and the things we'll have to do to get ready for it! Our house is about to become a revolving door of visitors and I couldn't be happier!! On the other hand, I don't want to spend all my time worrying about the details so I'll try to keep it simple...
After years of traveling, I just have kind of a mental to-do list that I go by and fill in the blanks as we go or the trips demand something different...
1. Traveling in general can be tiring, and I know for ourselves we tend to push it to get to where we are going. However... for safety sake we know when enough is enough. Stopping a bit earlier than planned can sometimes be a lifesaver (literally) and who knows, maybe you'll make an unplanned memory.
2. When traveling with little ones you never know what you are going to need. I always have a box of travel toys with lots of quality toys to keep their attention. Although I must say, as cute as all the travel games and books are... the most used things in that box are always the blank notebooks (you can buy them dirt cheap right after school starts!) and glow sticks.... Glow sticks have a dual purpose too.... I always have a good stash of them with us both for entertaining little ones after dark and for "just incase"
3. Now, maybe it's just all those trips in Alaska coming back to me, or maybe I am a bit over prepared than I need to be, but I think all road trips should have a list of those special "what if" items. Each child has a blanket and we always have any extra blanket in addition to that behind the seat. I always remember my mother in law saying how much it meant to her that someone had a blanket to cover my husband up when he was in an accident.... a simple blanket can mean so much. Also, a candle, some kind of food (in addition to snacks), a flare, flashlights, tow chain and matches. See, I told you I over think things...
Our friends learned the hard way not to always listen to your GPS! lol
4. Another safety for the family is usually dealing with pets. Now, I don't know how much you've had to travel with them but I have had my fair share of time in a truck with howling cats, puking dogs and a stressed out rabbit! lol For the safety of your pets and those around you, it pays to be prepared....make sure you have enough of their food especially if they are on something special due to medical reasons. I can remember coming down the Alcan with an extra 100lbs of specialty dog food so that we were sure we'd have enough to get them thru till we could get them switched to something else locally. Another thing to think of is water.... changes in water can effect the health of your animals and lets face it, bringing a few bottles of water from home is much easier than dealing with the nastiness of a dog with an upset tummy!! Animals are family too and should be considered when planning for a trip! You never know how they are going to react either so I suggest having leashes for all of them just to be sure!!! And lastly, spay and micro chip your pets!!! If you have them, please love them and take care of them!
5. Before your trip even starts, be sure to do a once over of your vehicle! After years of traveling with my dad and now traveling with my hubby I know how much better our trips have been because of the time and care they put into our vehicles. Check not only your tire pressure but your tire tread too and ALWAYS have a spare!!!(Tire plugs and travel air compressor/jumper box would be great too!) Get your oil changed, check all the fluids, change out wiper blades and be sure your lights are all working.
We added the aircompressor and tire plugs to our travel list after ending up with
three flat tires at one time!!
Adveturing in Alaska is NEVER boring! lol
6. Ensure that all heavy items like tool boxes are secured so that in the event of an accident (Heaven forbid) they won't fly about in the vehicle creating more injury than you can imagine....
7. A small detail that could easily be over looked and oh so simply to do would be making sure your registration and insurance are in a central location. It's not enough to THINK they are in your glove compartment.... it's more important to check and know! :)
8. Have a preplanned course, tell someone what it is so someone is expecting you if you are stopping overnight and call ahead for reservations!!! Don't just assume you'll find something along the way! WE know this from experience and ended up driving for miles and miles and miles to find one that was out of the range of conventions in town!! lol
9. For those bound to happen moments in life.... Toilet paper and paper towels!! Enough said...
10. And last but not least, actually one of the most important in my opinion.... MAKE YOUR CAR A CELL PHONE FREE ZONE!!!! There is NOTHING important enough to be texting and driving about and if you need to answer that phone, please pull over!!!
Traveling can be such an amazing memory maker for families and I hope that each of you are able to take even a day thrip this summer with the ones you love... my last words of advice? Don't be so set on your course that you forget to stop and smell the roses! Some of the best stops are the ones that aren't planned! :)
As if my list wasn't enough for you, Safelite has a few things for you to remember too...
About Safelite AutoGlass:
Safelite AutoGlass® was founded in 1947. Throughout our more than 60 years of service, our company has grown from a single store in Wichita, Kansas, to a national auto glass provider, serving nearly 4 million customers per year.
Through industry-leading 24-hour instant scheduling, convenient in-shop or mobile service, top-of-the-line materials and SafeTech™ certified technicians, you'll find that Safelite AutoGlass offers superior customer service, value and quality.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Safelite blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.