Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Kids and Kars: The Whole Kit and Caboodle
School is almost out, and you know what that means. It’s road trip time! Nothing says summer like boarding the pets, packing up the kids and hitting the dusty trail to the nearest family vacation destination. When I was a kid, I considered road trips an adventure. You never knew what was going to happen. I lived with my grandma and when Momma Nancy traveled, she packed everything but the kitchen sink. You had to be prepared. There weren’t any cell phones, only the CB radio. Onstar wasn’t going to show up if you had a flat. You had to have all of your tire-changing gear on hand when that Good Samaritan stopped by to help. Momma Nancy packed the whole kit and caboodle. Our car was filled with everything from band-aids to brake fluid. Turns out, it may be a digital world, but analog tactics still work. Take it from me; you don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road with children in tow. Be prepared. Here’s how:
1. The first item in your road trip survival kit should be a fully-charged cell phone and car charger. Cell phones are probably the easiest way to keep from being stranded. You don’t have to count on smoke signals (aka-the busted radiator) to tell oncoming traffic that you are in distress. Help is just a phone call away. Driving through rural America always makes fun. You lose your signal and your otherwise reliable tool of communication quickly turns into something that’s only good for telling time. Just remember. Even if you can’t get service, you can still call the police. It’s as easy as 9-1-1.
2. No one ever thinks of jumper cables until they need them. It happens. You are in such a hurry to get your little bundles of joy out of the car and into bed so you can have a little peace and quiet, you don’t even notice that little Timmy has turned on the interior light. It’s been on all night long when you try to start your car the next morning. Click…click. Oh no! Your plans for the best sightseeing excursion known to man hang in the balance. Never fear! A good pair of jumper cables can put you on the road again. Don’t be alarmed if you need a new battery. A drained battery does not regenerate itself like a lizard’s tail. But every town has a Walmart, right. Just remind little Timmy of this extra expenditure when he wants the $18 super freeze pop and stuffed animal at the theme park.
3. One word-Flashlight. Being stranded in the dark is no fun, especially with children. A flash light can assist adults in changing a tire, as well as be a keep-the-boogie-man-away tool for the children. Dual purpose…you gotta love it.
4. Being cold is no fun either. Bring a blanket… or three. If you’re taking the annual road trip to grandma’s house for Christmas, it can get pretty chilly on the way. Load the thermos with hot chocolate and the backseat with Snuggies. This will be the only time your kids will want to snuggle with each other without it turning into a wrestling match.
5. My personal favorite is the Fix-O-Flat products. There I said it, and I’m not ashamed. I can change a tire, I just don’t want to. This instant tire inflater is quick, easy and will allow you to make it the nearest gas station. Your kids might even think it’s cool to see the “magic” that unfolds when you revive the tire. Most times, someone will take pity on you and pull over to help you change a tire. But waiting is no picnic. Minutes can seem like hours with little people who are hungry, have to potty or are “bored.”
Take a little extra time to pack the right items. It can save you some heartache on the road. These are just a few tips that could take the stress out of roadside emergencies. Make traveling with your family and adventure. Be prepared.