After a week of meeting up with friends at different parks, and a whirl wind trip to Mystic Connecticut, I am reminded that now is a good time to do a little automotive Spring cleaning and organizing. Plus, in a few short weeks my girls will begin their first soccer season. We need to be ready!
Here are 6 Tips for Keeping Your Car Road Ready for Summer:
1. Car maintenance is key. After a long winter my car looks like a sloppy mess of dried mud and crushed Goldfish crackers with a sprinkling of granola bar wrappers and used handi-wipes. I took the time to treat myself to one of those one stop oil change/car wash/vacuum places. (Oh yes, I had a coupon). Not only did they change my oil, but they topped off all the fluids, checked my tire pressure, vacuumed the floor of my car and washed the exterior. Worth every penny!
2. Check the essentials. Start by making sure you have a spare tire, a proper jack and a car kit. Your car kit should include road flares, fix-a-flat and jumper cables. Those are your absolute basics. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to use each of them. I can’t change a tire on my own, but thankfully I can rely on the kindness of strangers because I am prepared with the proper tools and I know how to use them. Or, at the very least I can get myself to a safer location to get help. If your insurance offers roadside assistance make sure you know how to use it and have the number at the ready.
3. Kid’s Activities. Whether you are taking a road trip, or a quick schlep to soccer practice you can never go wrong with having a few extra activities in the car for the kids. My four-year-old’s like their Leapster video games, books, busy binders and of course I always keep bubbles on hand for last resort entertainment. I have a nice little caddy with pockets filled with their favorite things nestled between car seats. They can freely pull out items and keep themselves busy while I am driving.
4. Emergency kit. I have a nice sized canvas bag full of back up emergency items. The bag stays in the car- always. I have one outfit (including socks and underwear) for each member of the family, extra blankets, extra package of wipes, a first aid kit, sweat shirts and rain ponchos. My kids carry their own little back packs filled with basic back up supplies like an outfit, extra underwear, a container of baby wipes and books and stickers. If I use up anything in the little back packs and need extra I can find it in the big bag.
5. Snacks. Snacks. Snacks. It is essential for any successful car trip- never let anyone get hungry! I am really good at making sure everyone else has a snack, but I often forget to pack one for myself. A friend of mine recommends keeping a glass jar of healthy trail mix in the cup holder of my car. This way I don’t have to remember to pack something for myself. It is already there in a safe container. For the kids, another friend (and seasoned soccer mom) suggests loading snacks into a bag each night and taking to the car in the morning. This way no worries of leaving food to the chance of wavering temperatures.
6. Potty breaks!! If you have a little one that needs quick access to the potty take a travel potty with you. We always left extra room in the back for our little potty. I put down a towel mat under the potty to keep the car interior safe. I lined the inside cup of the potty with a plastic bag. Then, I layered the bottom with several squares of Viva brand paper towel (more absorbent). Once the potty is used, I just pulled out the bag and tied it off and threw away at the next rest stop.
Our car is clean and ready for anything! Now if only they made a crumb resistant interior my life would be complete!
What are some essentials you keep in your car for the summer travel season?