Road trips are no doubt one of the best parts about summer. The open road. The sunshine. The small towns to explore and new sights to see. It’s a glorious time to get away from the hustle of normal everyday life. Not to mention, if your children are young, the thought of getting on a plane is the stuff nightmares are made of. In the car, your screaming children will be disturbing only you, and you can crank up the tunes to help ride out the tantrums. While the thought of packing up kids into a car can cause a mild anxiety attack for single moms, the fun of the adventure is just too much to miss out on. Once your decision is made to hit the open road, it’s time to prepare the car because moms shouldn’t have to worry about anything other than sibling fights and how to get to the next rest stop in time.
What to do:
- Two weeks prior to your road trip, take your car to a trusted mechanic. It is important to take your car in at least two weeks prior so that you have time to fix any issues that are found. Your mechanic should be checking:
- The fluids (engine oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze/coolant, radiator coolant, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, power steering fluid
- Tires (for the pressure and to check treads). Be sure they check the spare tire, as well.
- Air filters
- Belts and hoses
- Download the Urgent.ly Roadside Assistance app. This awesome tool is the perfect app to ease your mind on the road. Just like Uber, this service is on-demand, and you only pay for it when you use it. Let’s be honest. As single moms, we don’t get on the road as much as we’d like, so paying for a year-long subscription service really doesn’t make sense. This app allows you to call for help on the road only when you need it and is available throughout the US. Some of their services include fixing flat tires, bringing gas, and towing. You can even track the help as it makes its way to you on their map feature.
- Fill up before leaving town. Your gas tank should be on full the minute you hit the highway.
- Check the route prior to leaving, and make a mental note of where the towns are. It’s important to keep a clear idea of where you are, where the next gas station is, and where the next rest stop is.
What to pack:
- Car manual
- Bottled water
- Dry snacks
- Jumper cable
- Hazard flares
- Cell phone battery pack to charge your phone if it (and the car) dies
- If you are traveling in winter, gloves, hats, and blankets
Keep in mind that the actual packing of your family for a road trip is going to take a lot of time, and time is something we don’t have much of. Doing this pre-work to make sure that your vehicle is in road-trip-ready shape is important and should be done a minimum of two weeks before your trip. Again, that is to make sure that there is time to fix any problems and also so that you aren’t rushed. Being rushed can lead to forgetting something. Once you have your car ready, you can focus on getting the family ready. And if misfortune should find you on the road, you’ll have your Urgent.ly Roadside Assistance app to get you back up and running anywhere that you are. Amen for piece of mind.