The best part about going on vacation in your car? No TSA. No delayed flights. No airline food. (I think the stuff you buy is worse than what they used to give you.) Traveling by car does have its own challenges. Getting ready for the trip can make all of the difference between have a great vacation and have a terrible one. I would recommend that you review the list of the following items to make sure your adventure is as stress and problem free as possible.
Mechanical Items for your car:
Have your mechanic review things like belts, tires, windshield wipers. Top off your fluids like brake fluid and washer fluid. Have them check the air conditioning as well. There are few things worse than being stuck in the heat with no relief.
I spent my childhood traveling across the US in a Volkswagen bus. The things that made the trip great was making sure that everyone had their “stuff” along. In those days, it meant a camera or a tape recorder to listen to music. Today, you want to make sure that you have enough cables for charging devices while on the go. Make sure that you also pack chargers for when you also stop at night. In a pinch, make sure that you carry a charging battery just in case. Using our phones as cameras, for music, and GPS can drain the battery quickly.
Go old school too. Take along maps. I was just speaking with a friend who was traveling through Kansas. She couldn’t get cell service from her provider there. No service. No GPS. Be prepared for that if you are also headed to the mountains. Go really old school and use the travel time to disconnect the world. Take a break from social media. Our family travels with a card game called Phase 10. This is child friendly. For a more mature group, try Cards Against Humanity.
Staying in a motel or hotel? Make sure you have a process to check drawers, closets and outlets before leaving. This will ensure you return with all of those things you took along.
Camping? Put the same process in place for tent stakes, lanterns, and pots and pans.
Be sure to record the journey. My favorite? Evernote. This app allows you to chronicle the events with photos and journaling all in one convenient spot.
Have fun and safe travels.