News, Road Trips

Road trip safety tips

Are you ready for a roadtrip? Photo by Jessica Bray
In the words of Chris Stapleton, “I’m just a traveller, on this Earth,” I am always on the road for work, as well as pleasure.  However, sometimes it is hard trying to come up with a list of things to pack for a trip.  Here are some ideas and tips shared by others on how to make packing and traveling much easier.
Prepare Your Car
Make sure that you have gotten an oil change, windshield wiper fluid refilled, all lights checked, and other proper maintenance before your trip.
Get Connected
Be sure to have your car charger, as well as a wall charger, for your cell phone.  Check ahead of time with Waze or Google Maps to see if there is any construction, road blocks, or traffic alerts.  Beware though – both will use up data on your cell phone plan.
Get Un-Connected
Be sure to print out maps with directions to your destination.  ALWAYS carry a roadmap to where you are travelling.  You cannot solely rely on GPS when some areas have no service.  You also cannot rely on GPS to not take you down a private driveway or the worse section of town.  Be sure to print out any hotel reservations that you may have.
Be Neighborly
When our neighbors recently went on 2 week vacation, they asked us to move their vehicle around to make it seem like there is activity at the house.  Our local sheriff’s department will do a courtesy drive by if you call them and let them know that you will be away.  Don’t forget to contact the post office to hold your mail.
Safety First
Be sure to pack a first aid kit and medicine.  I also keep prescriptions in a ziplock bag and keep with me.  You may want to make sure to have sinus medicine, as well as stomach relief medicine in case you get congested with allergies or have upset stomach from eating.
Pack a Cooler
I pack a cooler with bottled waters.  You never know when you might get stuck in traffic, or that the next exit is 20-30 miles away.  As far as snacks, try to stick with items that don’t require refrigeration.
Paper or Plastic
I always keep a plastic bag in my front seat tucked inside of a cereal container.  When you get gas, you can easily throw the bag away.  I also keep on hand a box of tissues, wet wipes, and paper towels.
Road Tools
Be sure to have a flashlight, jumper cables, and tire changing kit.  You can get a roadside kit from Walmart (click here to view).  I purchased a AAA membership for $65 a year.  In the end, it has been a well worth investment as I get discounts on hotels, attractions, and more.  Plus, you can call if you have car trouble and get free towing (some restrictions apply).  After 1 blown tire and a tow truck later, I learned quickly that $65 is a lot cheaper than $100+ for a tow truck!
Cash or Credit
Be sure to have a small change purse with quarters, as well as dollar bills.  Most local places will not take a credit/debit card, so always have cash on hand.  Most hotels require a credit or debit card in case there are incidentals.
Could You Take My Picture?
When traveling, I always take a selfie and send it to my mom and spouse each day.  Heaven forbid something happens to me, they have a photo of what I was wearing that particular day.  This could go along with your kids by taking a photo each day.  If they go missing, you will be able to show others what they were wearing when they went missing.
It Can Wait
Believe me when I say this….we can all wait until you get back home before sharing your vacation adventures on social media.  No, we don’t need to see you checked into every single restaurant, attraction, etc. while on vacation.  Wait until you get home to share photos.  Despite the fact that you may “know” your friends, you don’t know if one of them had a device stolen or they forgot to log out of their account while using a computer.  Safety first.
What are some of your favorite trip tips for others?