Note: This is a sponsored post.
I have always enjoyed going on a road trip. Until now. Every summer when I was younger, my family would go on a 2-hour drive to visit my grandfather and to go to the beach.
When I was in grade school, I was already responsible for packing my own bag. After I pack, my mom would usually ask me if I indeed have everything. Shirts, shorts, pants, toiletries, underwear… name it, she would ask if I had it in my bag.
Given that early training, I learned how to travel light. As much as possible, I would attempt to cram everything I need in a single backpack. And I was able to do it, too. I’ve been visiting my family back home for the past 10+ years with just a single backpack.
Travelling now with my 4 year old son is very much different than when I was travelling alone. Travelling with a preschooler is also very different from travelling with a baby. When I used to bring a single bag, now, I have multiple bags just for the little boy. Sleeping through the whole journey is no longer an option. LOL!
Combining everything I have learned from all of my road travels for more than a decade, here are 5 tips that I can share to make sure that your family’s road trip is hassle-free.
1) Make a list
When travelling alone and you forget something, you tend to just buy whatever it is you need when you get to your destination. Sometimes, this is not an option for a family on a budget. Check lists help ensure that everything needed to be packed are included for the travel duration. Having a few check lists wouldn’t hurt, too. In fact, it will make things more organized. Your check lists can be created per person, per item category (clothes, emergency kits, toiletries, etc), it can also include a list of routes going to the destination.
2) Check the forecast
I always check the weather forecast of the place I’m going to on the dates that I will be there. This helps me decide what kind of clothes to pack – should I pack thick jackets, should I just bring shorts and tank tops, etc.? Checking the weather forecast also helps plot out the activities to be done especially when you are visiting a touristy place.
3) Make reservations in advance
Whether it is for accommodation or even for bus rides (if commuting, that is), it is advisable to make reservations ahead of time. Especially during peak seasons. I have heard of stories about families taking risks of travelling to places only to end up trying to beg locals to help them find accommodations because they could no longer book rooms at hotels. What’s worse, some of these people have very young kids with them who are already tired and in need of rest.
Same goes with riding buses to travel. Make reservations especially during peak seasons. This will definitely make your trip hassle-free as this means that you won’t be standing in the chance passenger line for hours when you get unlucky.
4) Check the car
If there’s one thing that my Dad has instilled in me during road trips, that is safety first. Before going on the road, make sure to check your car. Make sure the tires are in good condition, you have ample gas for the road (or at least until the next gas station), your car’s engine is properly working, oil has been changed, brakes are working… you get the point. Having a scheduled maintenance check for your car is good before going on a road trip. This does not only ensure your and your family’s safety but this also ensures that you have a hassle-free travel.
5) Install the correct car seat for your kids
While I am not closely monitoring the statistics, I am horrified with all the news I’ve been reading online about road accidents involving kids. Some of the accidents hurt kids due to no car seats or car seat is not well fitted to the car. And this is why Cars.com is a great resource to check if certain cars can accommodate certain types of car seats.
Putting safety measures in place may not totally avoid impact during accidents but it saves lives. Not that anyone would really look forward to one, right?
Anyway, there’s actually a sixth one. Don’t forget to enjoy. As they say, the journey is more important than the destination. Or something like that. But in road trips, both the journey and the destination are equally important. And that is why we would want to make both hassle-free and safe so we can have more fun. Agree?