4 Essential Ways to Prepare Your Car for a Family Road Trip

It’s bad enough to have to deal with car issues in your hometown – or even in your driveway. However, nothing could be worse or scarier than having an automotive break down when you are a long way from home.

Family road trips are supposed to be a time for adventure and bonding, but the difference between an enjoyable trip or a disastrous one often depends on if you've prepared your car for that long trip.

Before you leave home, there are a few simple steps you can take to protect your vehicle, your trip, and your loved ones.

1.      Detail It: Before heading out on any big trip, take the time, whether it's scheduling an appointment or getting in there yourself, to detail the car's interior. No one wants to deal with mid-week French fry smell or have what used to be a coffee drink spill on them. Just as you enjoy a clean house, be sure to clean out the space that the family will be using on the trip and an Auto Detailing Service in Killeen TX or your city is sure to help!

If you’re going the DIY route, there are several tips and tricks to get your car looking new. Honestly, a vacuum and clean out of trash, plus a quick dusting and wipe down of the seats will do wonders. If you don’t have the time to tackle it, take it to a place that does detailing, but beware of the price tag that can come with it.

2.      Repair the Glass: Driving around with a chip in the front windscreen, or worse, larger cracks are one thing when it's just your daily commute. If you're planning on taking this vehicle out for the family vacation, schedule a time to have all cracks or chips repaired. It can seem like overkill, but just like the crack or chip was unexpected in the first place, all it takes is one more hit to cause a huge issue.

If it's less than the size of a dollar, it can usually be repaired. Anything more prominent, or more than three chips, and you’re looking at a new windscreen. A good auto glass shop will be more than happy to give you a quote over the phone, and glass repair is relatively quick and easy. Most companies will even have a mobile station that can come to you for added convenience.

You don't want to have that small chip or more significant crack in the windscreen (or windows, that matter) derail your entire trip when an errant rock or unexpected hail strikes and shatters the glass beyond safe driving capabilities.

3.      Organize: Now that you've taken everything out of the car be sure to organize the things going back in for the trip. If it's food, opt for a sturdy cooler. Make sure that napkins, plates, and utensils are handy. There are dozens of creative ways to store snacks with a quick Google search too.

As far as entertainment things go, extra batteries never hurt anyone, and investing in some form of charging station for everyone’s electronics is an excellent idea. Odds are you’ll be taking lots of pictures on your trip in the car, so either a storage card or multiple cameras might be a good option too. Don’t forget a light blanket for the inevitable disagreement over interior temperature!

4.      Schedule a Tune-up: We all know that vehicles come with maintenance to keep them running. Whether it's an oil change, new tires, topping off the fluids or other more in-depth maintenance, take your car down to a trusted mechanic if you aren't auto repair oriented, and have it looked over for a tune-up. A little bit of preparation like this could save you from spending a considerable chunk out of your wallet and vacation later on. 

All that’s left is for you to pack your luggage and get going to your destination! Don’t forget your map!

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