Car Tips for Family Trips

Over the river, through the woods, down the freeway or across the state, this holiday season more families will be driving to their holiday destinations. Whether you’re driving out to the suburbs or making a trip across state lines, having a car full of kids, pets, cell phones, DVD players and suitcases can make a family trip seem a lot longer than it is. We’ve got some tips on how to get you to your destination as safely and hassle-free as possible.

Pack Smart

One of the biggest mistakes you can make during a family getaway is over-packing. Taking more than you can carry and more than you need isn’t the most efficient way to travel. We all want to cover our bases and make sure we haven’t forgotten anything, but packing too much can be detrimental to your trip.

Trip Tip: When you weigh your vehicle down with needless luggage, it can reduce your gas mileage by putting extra weight on the tires. Limiting yourself to smaller suitcases and packing only what you need can help keep your car light. Having tires inflated to their proper levels can also help counter the extra weight.

Clear Out Space

Keeping the interior and trunk of your car in good order isn’t just about aesthetics. Having a clean ‘n clear interior helps you know where everything is. Tools like an air pressure gauge, jack, flashlight, jumper cables, even flares or hazard signs are all things you’ll want easy access to in the event of an accident.

Trip Tip: Invest in an all-in-one pack of safety materials like those listed above. Consolidate them into an easy-to-access kit so you’ll know where they are at all times. Make sure you go over what these items are with other family members.

Stop Frequently

You might be hearing a lot of “Are we there yet?” so the desire to get to your destination in a hurry may feel like a priority. But hurrying is a road trip buzzkill. Stop from time to time to enjoy the local sights or scenery. It keeps things interesting, helps your family stretch their legs and alleviates the feeling of being cooped up in a car for too long.

Trip Tip: Whenever you make a stop, take a minute to check your vehicle. You can quickly check things like the oil level, air pressure or headlights so you have assurance that everything is ready for the next leg of the trip.

Trip Checklist

Most people write down or go through a mental checklist before they embark on a trip. Checking off things like sunscreen, toothbrush, socks or cell phone helps keep us organized and happy when we have packed everything, but there is another kind of checklist drivers should remember before every family trip.

Trip Tip: There are eight big systems in your vehicle you should test and maintain before you leave your driveway. They are:

  • Battery
  • Brakes
  • Coolant
  • Tire pressure
  • Hoses
  • Belts
  • Oil
  • Transmission fluid

Trips should be fun experiences, but that nothing puts more of a damper on them than car problems. Take your vehicle into Colony One for an eight-system check or other maintenance solutions that will keep your car or truck road trip ready. Get in touch before you get on the road.