Back to school season is right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you and your family can’t make the most of the final days of summer. Ditch the neighborhood pool and Netflix nights for a last-minute summer vacation road trip done safely. Whether your getaway is to a cabin tucked away in the mountains or a much needed escape to the beach, we’ve got ideas for a vacation that’s safe, savvy, and sure to please the whole family.
Follow the Black Asphalt Road
Take note of the myriad road trip routes to explore in your area, each with their own unique highlights. Start with identifying your maximum drive distance. This will most likely be determined by how much time you have for your road trip. The last thing you want is to spend the entire trip in the car. Once you have your drive radius figured out, research possible points of interest and destinations and pencil in which landmarks, attractions or activities you and your family would like to check out. Hiking, beach relaxation, nature’s beauty, river rafting - anything and everything should be an open family discussion. Rank them in order beginning with the family’s #1 choice. Then it’s time to calculate drive times, proximity of destinations, and then make your choices.
Stop In The Name of Safety
If it hasn’t been serviced in a while, bringing your car to the shop before heading out is always a smart idea. Even if it has, a tire pressure check including the spare is a must. If the oil change is borderline, go ahead and get it done. Once out on the open road, avoid spending extended amounts of time in gas stations and gift shops and stay away from isolated, empty rest stops. These are contact points where criminal predators are hunting for prey.
On The Go Eats
One simple way to cut down on food stops and costs is to prep a few portable meals ahead of time. Grab yourself a cooler and get the whole family involved in packing lunches and snacks for the road, whether they be simple favorites like pb&j sandwiches or more complex salads that are as delicious as they are healthy. When lunchtime hits, consider stopping at a scenic outdoor spot for a family picnic where you can stay safe while enjoying the company of family and food.
Taking the time to clean and sanitize your vacation space is perhaps the most important step you can take to keep worries at bay. When you first arrive at your hotel room or vacation rental, hold off on unpacking until you have had a chance to get your clean on. Wipe down high touch areas such as light switches, remote controls, and door handles with sanitizing wipes to kill any germs left by previous guests or staff. If possible, open some windows to help with ventilation. Even the smallest cleaning measures can help in the fight against germs.
Back to Nature
With the kids getting ready to gear up for school, you can also consider a camping trip the perfect last hurrah before hitting the books. Not only is a weekend in nature a great way to unwind and bond with your family, but it also saves you the hassle and concern over staying in a hotel. Just be sure to bring along your insulated covers and tarps so you can keep comfortable and dry while sleeping under the stars.
Always Be Prepared
As the saying goes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. No matter where your destination lies, having emergency supplies on hand is a must. It only takes a minute to pack a first aid kit, portable chargers, extra snacks and plenty of drinking water so you can avoid any mishaps along your journey. And always remember to let friends and family know your route and destination in case of an emergency.
Home Safe Home
While you are planning the ins and outs of your upcoming trip, it is important to keep the safety of your home in mind as well. There are several steps you can take to ensure your home is well protected while you and your family enjoy your getaway:
- Ask a friend or family member to home sit for the duration of your vacation. A homesitter ensures that your pet is cared for, your mail is checked, and there’s someone trustworthy keeping watch over the home.
- Double check that your hot tub cover and other protective backyard accessories are securely fastened before heading out the door. The last thing you want to deal with when you return home is patio furniture that’s been damaged from inclement weather or curious critters.
- Get techy and install a video doorbell, automatic alarm system, or motion sensor light to keep any potential intruders at bay. While it’s unlikely that your home will be a target, erring on the side of caution is always recommended.
- It may seem like an obvious step, but double check to make sure all windows and doors are locked before you head out. Remove any hide-a-keys and consider moving any valuables out of sight.