Taking a family vacation can be a challenge, even for the most fearless among us. Between managing the kids, taking care of grandparents, and possibly worrying about pets, a road trip can be incredibly daunting. But family vacations are supposed to be fun, not stressful.
Family vacations are excellent opportunities for creating memories and strengthening bonds, but when things go wrong it can be stressful. So how do you ditch the stress and make a memorable vacation? With preparation, of course!
Bringing along the right tools, supplies, and food—along with plenty of planning—can take your vacation from stressful to superb. Here are a few easy approaches to make sure your next family vacation is much more enjoyable.
Make Sure Your Truck Is In Good Shape
A good vacation begins with planning and preparation. Keeping your truck in good working order should be a top priority. Before any long road trip, be sure to get your oil changed and your engine serviced. Check your tire pressure and ensure your tread looks good (and can withstand a lot of mileage). Inspect your brakes and makes sure they’re performing at optimum levels.
The last thing you want is to have your brakes malfunction on the road. According to AAA, a dead battery is one of the most common causes of a breakdown. So don’t forget to check your battery cables, cooling system, steering system, lights, electrical systems, and the battery itself.
Make sure you install or check your lighting as well. A new set of useful F-150 lights (whether they’re headlights, taillights, or fog lights) can help you navigate more efficiently. They’re also handy for any kind of night driving or driving through nasty weather. Checking lighting as part of your truck tune-up is critical and will only help you have a better—and safer—trip.
Take a Toolbox With You
Being out on the road is fun and exhilarating. But anything can happen while you’re out there. Whether it’s a flat tire or the need to jump-start your vehicle, it’s vital to have the right tools available. Consider keeping a toolbox with you on your trip. Keep an assortment of tools and spare parts in your toolbox.
Popular Mechanics recommends keeping screwdrivers, tape measures, socket sets, hex keys, a utility knife, clamps, work lamps, gloves, safety equipment, jumper cables, hammers, and assorted other tools in your truck. It’s also a good idea to bring along a tire repair kit and makes sure you have extra batteries or radio equipment just in case.
Check the Weather
Checking the weather before a trip is a good idea, but it’s not enough. You need to know the local weather conditions of where you’re going and what type of clothes to pack for the trip. It's also good to understand road conditions and what sort of challenges you might face during your trip.
Before setting out on an adventure, you want to know if the weather will be in your favor. When planning a camping trip, for example, it would be frustrating and annoying if it started raining right after leaving home. So make sure you check the weather before you leave.
Then check it again at your destination. Weather changes quickly and often unexpectedly. Staying on top of checking the weather forecast is practical and can help you get more enjoyment out of your trip.
Pack a Cooler
Staying hydrated and avoiding blood-sugar crashes are also important parts of planning any road trip. That’s why you should pack a cooler full of goodies to enjoy along your trip. Take along plenty of drinks, make sure they stay cold and have enough on hand to feed your entire family.
It's a good idea to take beef jerky, dried fruit, candy bars, and anything that won't spoil. Plenty of extra water on hand as well. That way you can stay hydrated as you travel and are all set when it comes time to set up camp.
Plan Plenty of Rest Stops
Part of the appeal of a road trip is being out on the highway and seeing the sights. But sometimes fatigue, restroom breaks, or hunger can set in without warning. That’s why you should plan plenty of rest stops throughout your trip.
Whether these are restroom breaks at a gas station, planned meals, or even booking a motel room for the night, rest is pivotal to ensuring your trip goes smoothly. Most experts recommend stopping every 100 miles or so to refresh, refuel, and relax.
It can be a good opportunity to incorporate some sightseeing into your trip or merely give yourself a much-deserved break. Whatever the case, rest is critical to enjoying your trip and you shouldn’t skimp on it for the sake of saving time.