The holidays are here, and many people will take to the roads and skies to visit friends and family this season. Planning even a short trip requires a lot of thought and consideration beyond just ‘what to pack’. Preparing for a vacation in advance will make your trip smoother, easier, and more enjoyable.
Preparing Your Car For a Road Trip
There is little worse than going on a road trip, expecting days of fun and interesting sights, only to wind up on the side of the road with car problems. Preparing your car before the trip will greatly reduce your chance of becoming stranded.
- Check your vehicle’s fluids. These include windshield washing fluid, coolant, brake and transmission fluid, and so on.
- Check your hoses and belts. If there is any sign of wear or tear, it may be best to bring your car into a mechanic to get them replaced preemptively.
- Make sure your tires are road-worthy. Too little tread can pose a danger to yourself and others. You also want to keep an eye out for any bulges or cracks in your tires, as these indicate that your tire needs replacing.
- Visit your mechanic for a general check-up. Your mechanic is the best person to consult for a vehicle health overview, and can advise of any potential problems or issues that need to be addressed prior to a long road trip.
Must-Have Travel Apps
There are thousands of travel apps to choose from. These can range from directions, food, flight info, and more. You can find just about everything you can imagine in your device’s app store. Here are some must-have travel apps for your next trip.
If you have a hard time adjusting to new time zones, then the Entrain app will be a great ally. Developed by the University of Michigan, this app calculates your trip destination, length, and body’s circadian rhythm to help determine the optimal sleeping schedule for you to adjust.
This must-have driving app makes great use of social networking while giving directions to your destination. Fellow ‘Wazers’, or people who are also using the Waze app in your area, update any traffic, accidents, or any other issues on the road in real time.
There are few worse feelings than being in the middle of nowhere and seeing the gas indicator dip close to empty. GasBuddy tells you where the nearest gas stations are so you don’t have to sweat.
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Tips for Travelling With Young Kids
Travelling with young kids can be a challenge in itself. Maximize the fun and enjoyment during the family vacation by doing some advance planning.
- Book Extra Time: When you’re in a rush, it’s easy for everyone to get stressed. Leave for the airport early and allow for plenty of extra time. This helps give you some leeway for emergency bathroom breaks, snack time, and exploring new places.
- Pack Smart Snacks: While choosing snacks for your children, remember that sugar-filled snacks will result in hyper kids on the plane or train. Savory snacks are a better bet to keep your kids from having a sugar rush.
- Provide Entertainment: “Are we there yet?” will quickly get on any parent’s nerves! Download movies, shows, and kid-friendly games and apps to keep your children happy while in transit.
- Plan Ahead: Book your hotel and flight in advance to avoid any last-minute surprises. If you need a crib or pack and play, call ahead to make sure that the airline or hotel has one ready for your arrival.
- Remember The Medicine: Painkillers are a must-have for any accidental bumps or bruises while on the go. A small first aid kit with bandages, alcohol wipes, and antibiotic ointment will go a long way on any trip.
Travelling With the Family Pet
When travelling with your pet, it’s important to remember that not all pets like travelling as much as you do! Bringing items that comfort them and remind them of home can reduce stress in many pets.
Other items to bring when travelling with the family pet include…
- Disposable kitty litter pans.
- Plenty of doggie waste bags.
- Foldable/collapsible water bowl – this saves space and can be brought on hikes or walks through new cities.
- Bring their favorite toys and bed to comfort them.
- Pack extra food, as the local pet shop may not carry your pet’s preferred type of food.
- Microchip or ID tag your pet, or update your info on existing IDs. If they get lost, you’ll have a much greater chance of recovering them when your current contact info is on hand.
If you’re going on a road trip this season, T3 Atlanta can help you ensure that your car is road-worthy. Don’t spend your vacation stranded on the side of the road! We specialize in Nissan, Toyota, Infiniti, and Lexus vehicles. Visit our Smyrna or Decatur location, both of which are convenient to the Atlanta area!