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Road trip 101: How To Stay Safe When Traveling With Your Family

Road trip 101: How To Stay Safe When Traveling With Your Family

Who remember's the long car rides to your great aunts house or to some vacation spot that your parent(s) carefully picked out?

Car travel with family can be a great chance to bond and spend a lot of quality time together, and let's face it, with jobs, school, sports, and other commitments, we are often left with a couple hours left in the average day to eat, say Hi, and go to sleep. Which is why it so important to take some time to just "be" with your family. Even if it's a short weekend car trip.

Preparing for a trip isn't easy...packing the suitcases, laundry, trying to keep the peace in the back seat while the kids ignore your every word. Aside from the normal road trip hardships, let's talk safety. I think we can all agree that we get so wrapped up in the destination that we might not always put much thought toward safety precautions just in case the "what if" happens. Whether you're traveling during the summer or the cold winter, preparing for the conditions can save your life and the life of your family. Here are some tips on how to travel safe and enjoy the ride. 

Plan your driving route
Before you take off into the sunset, plan your route, alternate routes, and for any road construction that may be happening. It also helps to make sure that there are places to make pit stops just in case of an emergency or just to stretch your legs.

Sometimes we cannot always depend on our GPS, so be sure to pack a map and send your itinerary/road map to a friend or family member. Having another person looking out for you while you’re on the road with your family is the responsible thing to do. If something were to happen to you, they’d be able to alert the proper authorities.

Make sure your vehicle is in working order
Try taking your car in to have everything checked out. Have your mechanic top off your fluids, check your tires, and head/tail lights. 

For an extra layer of security, pack an emergency kit that includes a spare tire, tire iron, and battery jumpers in the event of a breakdown or accident. You may also want to invest in a portable phone charger. 

*If traveling in a snow storm and your car happens to get stuck in the snow, DO NOT run your heater. Carbon monoxide can trap itself in the car and lead to death. If you DO in fact need to run the heater, make sure that a window is open in the direction the wind is blowing. 

Take breaks along the way
Despite the schedule you may have, the destination is never worth endangering your life and the life of your family. If you feel as though you're getting sleepy, either pull over or bite the bullet and get a room for the night.  

If there are two adults in the car, take turns driving. This will help split the load and offer the other person some well needed rest. 

Pack food and water
This is a given but try packing a little more than usual. There have been cases where motorists have survived solely on the food and water they packed. Non perishable foods are best. If you notice your supplies are getting low, replenish them along the way. The road is a long one and it's important to prepare for the worst. 

 

Let The School Bell Ring!

Let The School Bell Ring!

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the school year is winding down beautifully. This would make for a perfect time to reflect with your child on their accomplishments and also plan for the fun summer ahead. 

I remember being a kid and loving the summer buzz towards the end of the school year. The weather was nice, spirits were high, a lot was learned, and most importantly, we had a solid 2-3 months of leisure time! The world was my oyster. I was a big reader back then so I would make sure to stock up on my favorite books and Fashion Avenue clothing for my Barbies. But, it wasn't all about books and solo play time with my toys, I would like to say about 80% of my time was spent outside, riding my bike with friends, hanging at the pool, or just being silly in the sun. But as I grew and reflected on my childhood, the fondest memories of all were when I was able to spend quality time with my mom and sister. 

As surprising as it is, moms and dads, your kids actually want to spend time with you. Summer time is perfect for that. Luckily, we have a lot of local spots where a lot of quality time and fun can be had! Below are some locations and some fun ideas you can include in your outing. 

Larry's Produce
Ok, so who has heard of Larry's, raise your hand? I think we all have and if you haven't, don't fret, we're here for you. Larry's Produce has been around for years. They offer fresh locally grown produce at discount prices. So grab the wheel barrel and start picking! 
Idea: Have the kids think up their favorite lunch or dinner dish, make a produce list, and get to shopping. This is a great way to involve the entire family.

Rockville Park or Pena Adobe Park
Roll those sleeves up and pack up the kids. Whether you like to hike or bike, these parks offer great trails, safe environments, and perfect for picnics.
Idea: Have the kids choose whether to bike or hike. Brainstorm the perfect snacks/packed lunch, and get going! 

Bowling!
Let's face it, sometimes the sun can be exhausting, we all need a break. That is where the wonderful sport of bowling comes in. Unlimited AC, someones else's shoes, there's a winner at the end, and who doesn't love bowling alley food (or is it just me)?

Whatever it is you and your family choose to do this summer, try and do it together.