The best-planned family road trip can take a turn for the worse if you are not properly prepared. Conversely, when you have everything you need for both survival and comfort, your road trip is likely to go smoothly and be memorable for all the right reasons. Even when traveling relatively close to home, it’s important to remember that driving to any destination over the open road is a serious endeavor.
Depending on where you’re headed, you may have many long miles between rest stops and gas stations. As an experienced auto accident lawyer in New Jersey, we understand the importance of staying safe and comfortable on the road. Whether you head up I-95 or choose the Garden State Parkway, visit small towns, state parks, or New York City, the best way to minimize any problem that might arise is to be prepared.
Basics for Everyday Driving
Whether you are on a family vacation, a long road trip, or just driving around town, there are some things you should always have in your car. Here is a list of basics we heartily recommend to help make your next outing a breeze:
This may seem like a no-brainer, but we have all found ourselves, at one time or another, with a car full of old paper coffee cups, crusty fast-food wrappers, and empty water bottles. Whether you opt for a high-end model with a lid that snaps shut – or something less glamorous like a small plastic bag – it’s always better to have a dedicated trash container than sticky cup holders filled with garbage.
First Aid Kit
Everyone should have a first aid kit tucked away somewhere in their car because you never know when an emergency might happen. It’s always a good idea to be prepared – and hopefully, you’ll never need it.
You can purchase a kit filled with the basics like bandages, band-aids, and Tylenol. Then make sure to add things like an anti-itch lotion for mosquito bites, snap-to-use ice packs and heat packs, a couple of elastic bandages, something for motion sickness, and anything specific you think you might need. Lastly, don’t forget to replace medications with new ones as they expire.
While this could contain some of the same items you’ll find in a first aid kit, your emergency kit should have other important things like blankets, rain ponchos, bottled water, and snacks. You’ll also want to include safety items like reflective triangles for roadside emergencies, a fire extinguisher, and something to jumpstart your car if you find yourself in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery.
In addition to making sure you have at least one charger for each phone, computer, or iPad you have, you should consider investing in a couple of splitters so each single USB port can function as a charging hub. Additionally. You might want to pick up a couple of emergency chargers or a solar powered charger before you hit the road – just in case.
Wipes, Tissues, Napkins, and Disposable Utensils
Whether you stuff these into your console, glove box, or a separate container of one sort or another, these items are invaluable – whether you have kids or not. You never know when you’ll end up with some gunk on your hands, need to blow your nose, or be a mile away from the drive-thru when you realize the girl behind the window forgot to put a spoon in the bag.
While it is unlikely you will end up being stuck somewhere overnight, it’s not a bad idea to be prepared with a couple of important items just in case. Consider stashing a toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, and any other essentials you may need, in a Ziploc bag near your emergency kit.
Necessities for Traveling with the Kids
Anyone who has ever participated in a family road trip understands the frustration of repeatedly hearing the question, “Are we there yet?” One way to avoid this annoyance is to keep your children from being bored during the trip. Here are a few tips that might help:
Shower Caddies and Shoe Organizers
Both of these items double as organizers for keeping kid stuff within reach of the kids and out of the way all at the same time. Toys, snacks, crayons, and other items fit nicely into the pockets, and the shoe organizers drape easily over the back of car seats – while shower caddies utilize suction cups to stick to the car windows.
Games and Activities
You’ll find it’s vital to your sanity to keep the kids occupied during any extended car trip. Depending on what your kids are into, you can plan ahead. If freebies like I Spy and the License Plate Game don’t interest them, pick up some word search or coloring books and crayons at the dollar store.
These are a must for all family travel – no matter how short the trip. Cheese and crackers, grapes, bananas, or dried fruit, and veggies with dip are great choices – and they come pre-packaged if you don’t have time to prepare them yourself.
You don’t have to have a state-of-the-art theater system to entertain your kids with their favorite movies – all you need is your iPad. You can easily rig a DIY holder and hang it from the back of a visor or the headrest and, voila – you now have an instant in-car theater experience!
Stay Safe and Enjoy a Road Trip this Summer
All of us at Kreizer Law wish you a safe and happy summer on the road. However, if the unexpected occurs, and you find yourself involved in a serious vehicle accident, you should contact a reliable auto accident attorney in New Jersey as soon as possible.
While we hope you never need to call – our dedicated legal team at Kreizer Law is here to help if you, or someone you care about is involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. Reach out to our law firm, with personal injury attorneys serving Long Branch and surrounding areas of New Jersey, to book your free consultation.