Before you travel

10:03 AM

My kids and I just got home from a 12-hour road trip. We hit a storm and ended up staying in a motel (Yes, this has happened before). As we got out of the car, my 5-year-old squealed, "Ouch! That hurts!" Hail was pouring down on us. We had stopped just in time to avoid the worst part of the storm.

I've written before about preparing ahead of time. If you're going on a road trip, whether it's a 1-hour or 24-hour drive, you need to be ready for things to go wrong. Not only will prepping ahead of time save you stress, but it'll save you money. If you've ever looked at the price on a package of Tylenol at a gas station vs. what you'd pay at Wal-Mart, you know what I mean.

Before you head out, here are a few things to always keep in the car:

  • Tylenol 
  • Allergy medicine
  • Snacks - more than you think you'll need
  • Bottled water
  • Cash
  • Towels
  • Extra shoes
  • Socks
Also, make sure that you have a plan for how you'll handle an unexpected storm. What will you do if you can't make it to a motel and have to ride the storm out at a rest area or on the side of the road? Do you have a way to heat (or cool) your family? Do you have small, battery-operated fans in the car? Do you have extra blankets? Do you have enough food?

I always find that my kids are starving when we have to stop somewhere. Twice we've had to stay at roadside motels during storms and twice they've eaten all of the bug-out food. Even if you think your kids will be fine until morning, stress and unexpected situations tend to make children hungrier than usual. If you have an infant, always plan to pack extra formula and baby food, as well.

Always plan for the worst. When something happens, you'll be glad that you did.

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