This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #BestPlans4Fall#CollectiveBias
Long before I had Gabe I was traveling from Charleston, South Carolina, back to Kentucky to visit my family. I was just 18 years old, and it was the first time (and last time) I ran out of gas. It was in early in the evening, and luckily it was still daylight. I didn’t have a car phone with me, and society was just starting to see cell phones. The nearest gas station was miles away, and a couple of guys stopped in a truck to see if I needed help. A North Carolina State Trooper stopped to see why two vehicles were pulled to the side of the road. The female officer told the men that she would help me and sent them on their way. When they pulled out, she took the opportunity to help, but not before (justifiably) chewing me out. She proceeded to tell me how very unsafe it was for me to run out of gas, and that I could have easily been kidnapped or killed by someone who saw me as vulnerable. It was a humiliating experience, but I deserved it. She told me to sit in my car, lock the doors, and wait on her to return with gas. I did as she instructed. When she returned, I thanked her for the gas and I drove straight home. I’ve never forgotten her, or what she said to me that day. I rarely let my gas tank get below 1/4 full, and I try to make sure my car is packed for an emergency. Today, I’m sharing some family road trip planning tips as we prepare for a fall break road trip to Charleston, SC and on to Orlando, FL (don’t tell Gabe, we’re going to Disney World).
My first piece of advice is to make sure that your car/vehicle has had a tune-up before your trip. You’ll want to check your oil, transmission fluid, tire pressure, and general tire condition. If you don’t know how to do all of that, find someone knowledgable and have them show you. Even a simple flat tire can leave you stranded for a day or two, especially if your automobile requires an unusual tire size/type (I’m speaking from experience). You should also check the condition of your spare tire.
My grandfather always advised me to keep a blanket, umbrella, and poncho in the car. I’ve always listened to his advice. Regardless of whether the vehicle is parked in a campsite or you’ve decided that dry camping (also known as Boondocking) seems like something the family is willing to give a go, making sure there is a spare tire can save so much stress. It is always best to be overprepared than not have anything, especially on a road trip. If your vehicle breaks down in poor weather, you might be stuck in your car, have to walk to get help, or change a tire in the rain/snow.
It’s also handy to have a few bottles of water and snacks, especially if you are traveling with children. Temperatures escalate quickly during the summer months, and you’ll need to stay hydrated.
You should always have an emergency kit in your car. I keep items such as jumper cables, hazard/reflector signs, and first aid items in my emergency kit. It’s particularly important to keep an emergency kit on hand if you’re driving on a dangerous route. For example, on highway 61 accidents are frequent and can be deadly. For this reason it’s always best to be prepared.
If you’re traveling with children, portable games and activities will help keep them distracted. My son likes to color and do workbooks, but working on those can leave him car sick. I tried several car activities until I figured out what worked for him.
A cell phone and car charger is a must for any road trip. If you don’t have a cell phone or plan, Walmart Family Mobile provides several great phones and service options. The LG Leon LTE is a very affordable phone with several fun and useful features. The phone has a 5 megapixel camera; It even has a remote shutter feature that will snap a photo by saying a phrase such as, “say cheese” or by using a simple hand gesture. You can get an unlimited talk, text, and data service plan with up to 1G of 4G LTE data for $29.98 per month. You’re not under contract to keep the service plan and you can pay per month. The LG Leon LTE was available for purchase online for $79.82, and it’s also available in Walmart stores. There is also an Alcatel One Touch Pop Astro phone which is $64.88.
Do you have any travel plans for this fall? What do you do to prep for a road trip? Have you checked out any of the Walmart Family Mobile phones or plans?