3 Tips to Prepare for a Cross-Country Road Trip with Your Grandkids

By on May 25, 2018
3 Tips to Prepare for a Cross-Country Road Trip with Your Grandkids

This summer, your daughter, son-in-law and their two kids will fly to your town, where you’ll spend a week together before mom and dad take a flight back home. As proud grandparents and self-proclaimed travel enthusiasts, you’ll spend some quality time with your grandkids before you pack up the car and drive cross-country to return them to their parents.

While you cannot wait for this extended visit and will relish plenty of uninterrupted time with your grandbabies, you may also be a bit nervous about driving a couple thousand miles with young children. Truth be told, it’s been a while since you’ve been in the car with kids for extended periods of time, and you want the experience to be fun and relaxing for everyone.

With that in mind, here are three tips to help prepare you and your car for an upcoming road trip:

1. Ensure Your Ride is Road-Ready

If your car is due for a tune-up, be sure to bring it to a trusted dealership or auto body shop before skipping town with your grandkids. Beyond testing fluid levels and the engine, ensure your mechanic checks your tires for proper tread, particularly if they’re up there in age.

Checking the tread is super easy; in fact, all you need is a quarter to determine whether your tires are in good shape or need replacing. With that in mind, head out to your car and stick the coin upside down in the treads in different places on each tire.

If George Washington’s head is partially covered by the tread, you know you have at least 4/32nds of an inch of remaining tread. However, if you can see the top of his bean, your treads are dangerously low and should replace the balding tires prior to your family road trip.

2. Spring for a Portable Charger

While you may dream of playing road trip Bingo with your grandkids, singing songs and talking for miles during your journey, it can also be nice for the kids to have some quiet time. Whether your grandkids have their own personal electronics or you plan on providing them with an iPad to watch movies, you definitely need a portable charger.

This way, if you’re in the middle of nowhere and your iPad is low on battery power, you can recharge your electronics on the go. A portable charger is also great from a safety standpoint, as you won’t have to worry about your smartphone conking out on the trip.

Tech Radar recently reviewed a number of affordable and efficient portable power banks, including the Anker PowerCore, which can charge a smartphone or tablet multiple times before needing a power boost from a non-portable device.

3. Learn How to Install a Car Seat

Even if your daughter or son-in-law installs your grandchildren’s car seats into your vehicle for you, you should still know how to do it independently. That way, if one of the little ones accidentally dumps apple juice all over themselves and/or is car sick, you can remove the car seats, clean up the mess, and then safely reinstall it.

Some helpful tips on car seat installation include always being cognizant of positioning these safety devices in a rear-facing manner in the backseat, as well as referencing your owner’s manual for various tips and tricks. Once you’ve installed the car seat, make sure it doesn’t move more than an inch in any direction. Thus, wiggle it from side to side to ensure it ‘s secure.

Enjoy Your Time on the Open Road!

Your upcoming cross-country trip with your grandkids may be so delightful and successful that it could become an annual tradition. By checking your vehicle in advance and making sure it’s safe for the journey, learning the basics of car seat installation and investing in a portable charger, you will be well-prepared for your drive and able to focus on those precious passengers in the backseat.

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3 Tips to Prepare for a Cross-Country Road Trip with Your Grandkids