Going on a family road trip is one of the great joys of summer, but it can leave your car looking like a disaster area by the end of it. Fortunately, a little bit of planning can help keep your car clean and organized for the duration of your trip, minimizing the amount of time you'll spend cleaning out the mess at the end of your journey. Follow these tips to keep your car neat and tidy while on the road.
Start with Smart Packing
Organization starts before you even leave for your trip. When packing, think about which things you will need to have easy access to and which ones you won't need until you arrive at your destination. Pack anything you want to have inside the car separately from what will be packed in the trunk. When loading up the trunk, take the time to arrange everything efficiently so that you can fit as much as possible while still leaving room for souvenirs on the way home.
Install Car Caddies
Car caddies are great for keeping small items within easy reach. You have a lot of options available to you in this area. You can find car caddy variations that install:
- On the back of the front seats
- In the middle backseat
- On windows
- On sun visors
You can also find insulated caddies, perfect for storing snacks and drinks. If you're handy, you can even make DIY varieties to save money.
Include an Emergency Kit
A car emergency kit should contain anything you might need if you got stranded out on the open road, including water, non-perishable snacks, a first aid kit, blankets, road flares, jumper cables and anything else you think might come in handy, depending on your destination. Of course, the hope is that you'll never have to use it, but it is always better to be prepared, just in case. Keep your kit inside the car if possible in case you get stuck inside.
Keep Kids Entertained
Before you depart for your trip, put together some activity packs for your little ones to keep them occupied on long stretches of road. Coloring books, movies, and card games are all popular options. Stow crayons or markers in a small pencil case or diaper wipes case to prevent them from rolling around on the floor, possibly melting into your carpet.
Take Cleaning Breaks
At each stop, even if it is just for a quick bathroom break, take any trash out of the car and throw it away. Put everything back into your caddies, and put the kids' toys and games back into their activity packs. Use diaper wipes or paper towels to clean up any spills before they have a chance to set in and become sticky. Pick up any loose snack leftovers on the floor as well.
Before a road trip, it's important to give your car's engine a tune-up as well. Head to Auto Tek before you go to ensure everything is working as it should.