If you just can’t wait to get on the road again, you’re going to need supplies. So before you start your own journey with the family, it’s going to be important to stock up on the essentials. Some of these things will make your life easier, and some you’ll never be able to live without. Family travel can be a trying time for even the most organized, but take the time to prep and you’ll cut some of that aggravation out before you even start.
Some of these things will make your life easier, and some you’ll never be able to live without.
One Family Road Trip essential that works well for my jolly crew of misfits are maps! Now, I know you’re going to say that everyone has a GPS. While that’s probably true, if you’ve ever lived through the phrase, mechanical failure, you know how valuable a map can be. Buy a map from a local service station, or even simply print out a few pages from Google Maps or MapQuest, and you’ll always be able to find alternative routes during heavy traffic, and out of the way tourist destinations.
Pretty soon you’ve hit the open road. The kids are in the backseat, eyes locked on the headrest DVD player, but I hope you didn’t forget about snackage. A good travel rhythm can be destroyed by an emergency stop at the service station for corn chips and soda. The first rule to road trip snacking is to make sure your snacks are portable, easy to clean, and healthy. Fruits & veggies are great snacks for Day 1, but if refrigeration is going to be an issue, I would stick with pre-packaged foods, and get your veggies on the run. Peanut butter, crackers, and even instant oatmeal are easy to store, quick to make, and high in energy. If you’re looking for something sweet, macaroons, dates, and figs travel well.
Creative problem solving is your friend! A roll of duct tape makes a great beverage holder for older cars without cup holders. Those portable plastic cereal containers are great for securing little snacks like popcorn and nuts, but they can also be valuable “spill proof” trash cans for those “sticky situations” that sometimes come up. A spare shower caddy can also make a great container for meals on the go, and if you keep a box of dryer sheets in the car you can fight the funk in between stops.
Finally, from personal experience, I can tell you that one of the most valuable things you can bring with you on a trip is a spare key. The last thing you want to do is be “on the road” with no way to get down it! Put a spare key in your wallet or your navigators purse, or even hang it around your neck for safekeeping. Being locked out of your car is pretty bad. Being locked out of your car 1000 miles from home, well that can be a disaster. Remember, a failure to plan is a plan for failure.
Being locked out of your car is pretty bad. Being locked out of your car 1000 miles from home, well that can be a disaster.
Safe travels on your family vacation!