Have a road trip scavenger hunt – Road trip tip

Planning a family road trip? To avoid hours of boredom, plan a “scenic scavenger hunt.”

It’s easy. Just write down a list of 100 things you might see along the way, like landmarks, buses or bridges. The first person to complete the list wins.

For preschool kids, substitute magazine photos and trim the list to twenty familiar objects. For older kids, include a challenge: require them to provide one additional fact about each item they find.

Have fun. And by the time you reach the end of the road, you won’t be at the end of your rope.

Laminate maps and printed directions – Road trip tip

Passengers eat, drink, and frequently move in and out of the car during a road trip. A paper map or set of printed directions easily gets shoved into a seat during a stop, or worse yet, ruined if food or drink is spilled on it. Upon arrival, directions and maps are even more likely to get misplaced or damaged. To keep maps and directions safe during the trip, laminate them.

For around $30, a home laminating machine will seal standard letter size pages. Copy and print stores have the capability to laminate larger maps for a minimal fee. Alternatively, you can use contact paper to cover paper maps.

Pro tip: you can draw your route on a laminated map and easily wipe the mark off, if you change your mind.

Bring a tire repair kit – Road trip tip

A nighttime flat tire miles from the nearest town might make a good story later, but in the middle of a road trip, it spells stress. Be prepared with everything you need to fix a flat.

Auto supply retailers carry kits with patches, plugs, adhesive and a file to roughen the tire rubber to help the patch adhere. Bring along two cans of a flat-repair product to fill the tire.

In case of a flat: examine the tire and patch any injury. Use your trip-saving flat-repair can to inflate and seal the tire so you can drive to a safer location to change it.


Bring an extra gallon of water – Road trip tip

Travelers generally think to bring bottled drinking water, but few realize how frustrating it is to need a larger quantity of water with no way to get it.

Some rest areas have poorly designed sinks that automatically squirt liquid soap, run water for a few seconds, and then immediately turn on a hand dryer. Brushing your teeth in these contraptions is nearly impossible.

Keep a gallon of extra water tucked away in the trunk for rinsing sticky stuff off your hands, splashing on your face, using to brush your teeth, or even filling an overheated radiator.

Keep important items accessible – Packing tip

Before you go on your road trip, make sure to pack your car so the most important items are easily accessible.

Many people make the mistake of packing their essential items first — so as not to forget them — but this means those essential items wind up underneath multiple bags and other supplies. In case of an emergency, you need to be able to find your important items quickly and easily.

If you’re bringing food and water, place them in a position that is accessible by the driver and the front passengers seat. This will help you refrain from having to crawl to the back of the car or take your eyes off the road.