Here are 8 road trip safety tips from a family who travels a lot! What to bring, what to do in case of an emergency, and how to prepare for a long road trip to stay safe along the way. Free checklist to ensure your car is ready and how to keep your kids busy along the way too.
Whether you’re planning another cross country road trip or preparing for your very first one you always need to keep road trip safety in mind no matter what. We have a family of 5 and ever since our youngest was about 3 we have been road tripping during every school vacation. We’ve taken many trips from CA to AZ, which is about 5-7 hrs., short trips to Big Bear and back…but this Thanksgiving break we did a really long one from CA to ID!! It was amazing! Even though we set off time and time again throughout the year we always keep safety in mind, and knock on wood, have never had any problems thus far. Here are our top 8 road trip safety tips we follow and hope they help you when you’re planning your trips too. A necessary addition to our road trip blog. Special thanks goes out to Allstate for sponsoring this post so we could share our thoughts with all of you.
This. Is. Us.
- A roundtrip family road trip from the San Diego area to Boise (1,806 miles) was something we wanted to do for some time. When the kids were off for a week we packed our clothes, boots / jackets (we’re talking it’s Nov.), and of course food and drinks for the trip. A vacation with teens, oh fun.
We will start with packing. We travel light. Everyone gets a duffel bag and whatever fits in there is what they can take. Especially if you’re staying with family or renting a home that has a washer in it you don’t have to pack a lot, you can wear clothing agian. Jeans can be worn a few times. The fewer bags you have the better as far as fitting in the car well and making sure things are securely fastened in case of an accident…we don’t want anything flying around.
If you’ve never taken a road trip and you’re traveling with kids you’ll want to prepare yourself with some road trip games for kids (you’ll thank me later). You will also want to make sure you pack a cooler with drinks, and a bag of snacks to minimize the amount of times you will hear “I’m hungry/thirsty”. Not to say that you shouldn’t stop, because you NEED to stop every few hours to get the wiggles out and allow yourself to stretch and take a bathroom break, but it helps immensely to be well stocked on goodies (and relax about eating junk food on the trip…you’re on vacation).
If you’re just beginning to road trip with your family, you might want to plan a few shorter trips to get them ready for longer ones, here are 7 ways to take a cheap weekend trip to get you started.
Ok, on to our road trip safety tips…..
Here are our 8 road trip safety tips:
- Secure items in the back (especially your cooler, use a bungee cord or tie down so it doesn’t move around).
- Check all fluid levels and tire pressure in your car before departing. Here is a printable road trip checklist so you don’t forget anything.
- Check all brake lights and headlights (including brights) to ensure everything is working properly)
- Carry chains with you if you are venturing into snow/ice country (better to be safe than sorry).
- Carry a first aid kit in the car that has all necessary supplies in case of an emergency.
- and have doctor’s phone numbers for when your child gets sick
- Plan on traveling during daylight hours to avoid dark highways that can be more dangerous.
- Don’t use cruise control if you are driving in rain, sleet or snow. This can delay your reaction time. Check out these other tips on how to stay safe on the road.
- Make sure you have some sort of road side assistance program available to you (Allstate Good Hands Rescue® is available without a membership & available 24/7).
Of course you can’t plan for everything in life and accidents do happen but if you can prepare as much as possible before you leave you’ll be better off and feel more prepared. Having road side assistance is huge, especially if you’re traveling long distances. If you do not have a membership to a service such as this you’re still in luck!!
I love pay as you go (or in case of emergency) type of services, especially if you are only planning on long trips every once and a while. Allstate Roadside Services, an industry leader for over 50 years,, has now partnered with Waze. Allstate’s Good Hands Rescue® service is available inside the Waze app. Just tap the ‘roadside assistance’ icon in the Send a Report section and you are ready to roll. This is perfect for us because we don’t pay a monthly fee for “just in case situations”, and in this case we’d be more than willing to pay a one-time fee for them to help us in our time of need out on the road. You don’t have to be an Allstate customer to take advantage of this either, and it’s available 24/7 on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Just download it on your phone before you leave so it’s there in case you need it.
This is what it looks like, super easy to use:
Did I miss anything?? Oh yeah, how to deodorize your car may come in handy especially if you have a car full of boys. 😉 Just. Sayin’.