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    6 Ways to Stay Safe during Your Next Family Road Trip

    The family road trip is a time-honored tradition. Everyone has fond memories of being packed in the car with family members…or maybe those memories aren’t so fond. Learn 6 ways to stay safe during your next family road trip, and forge happy memories.

    Family Road Trip
    Family Road TripAl_HikesAZ / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

    Plan for the Worst to Get the Best

    Road trips are a wonderful way to see the country, spend more time with loved ones and find new places to explore. But they can also be a recipe for disaster. You’re on the road, away from all your other friends and family, sort of like a ship that’s adrift in an ocean. Anything could go wrong. Plan ahead, and less stuff will.

    • Tune up the car: Before you embark on your journey, get a tune up. Check the battery, belts, air conditioner, tires and all the fluids. Do it yourself if you know about cars, but if you don’t have a mechanic to the work. Quick tune-ups are also available through car dealerships, such as Dodge Chrysler Jeep Dealer Raleigh-Durham, so you don’t always have to go to the mechanic’s shop for what you need.

    • Pack for emergencies: Assemble a kit to help you deal with any small emergencies. You’ll need plenty of drinking water (2 to 4 bottles for everyone in the car), blankets, jumper cables, at least one flashlight, road flares, a spare tire with jack and your standard first-aid kit. Try to keep a charged cell phone in the car as well.

    • Store items logically: If your vehicle  stops suddenly or gets struck, the items inside will get jostled around. Place all heavy items in the floor of the car or the bottom of the trunk. If you stop suddenly, flying heavy items could do serious injury to people inside the car (especially children).

    Make it Easier to Enjoy the Trip

    Discomfort encourages whining, irritation, frustration and lots of other bad feelings you don’t want to associate with your family road trip. Prepare for comfort to have a more enjoyable journey.

    On a road trip with children
    On a road trip with childrenSaad.Akhtar / Foter.com / CC BY

    • Don’t forget the snacks: You’ll want to stop to have meals of course, but everyone wants a snack now and then. Keep some healthy dry goods on board like apple chips, granola bars and dried fruit.

    • Map it out: Don’t get lost, or you’ll only get frustrated with yourself and everyone else. There are many apps for trip-planning and road-mapping out there. Use them to stay on track. Some apps even work like a GPS to give turn-by-turn directions.

    • Weather: Use a weather app to keep track of local weather as you travel. You’ll want to avoid ice, heavy rain and other conditions that lower visibility. When bad weather is on the horizon, start planning to stop for the day. Take the chance to view attractions nearby, eat in a restaurant or simply relax. Road trips are most enjoyable with frequent stops that allow everyone to stretch out and have a little fun.

    Stay safe during your road trip. Prepare for emergencies, plan for fun and pay attention to the area around you. Stop often to enjoy it, because half the fun of the journey is getting there. When you do it safely, you’ll have much better memories of your trip.

    Resources:

    http://www.traveljunkies.com/blog/7-built-in-gadgets-that-make-road-trips-easier-on-the-family

    http://lifehacker.com/5992643/everything-you-need-to-prepare-for-a-long-road-trip

    http://www.roadtripsforfamilies.com/2013/02/top-10-car-travel-safety-tips-to-make-it-through-the-winter/

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