Surprising Ways to Prepare for a Big Trip in a Small Car
Smart people know that the key to a successful road trip is in the preparation. We spoke with CROWN Parts managers to learn their proven secrets to a successful road trip while travelling with kids in a small car.
1) Keep Up with the Cargo
Trunk Space is key while travelling in a small car. Clean out anything unnecessary to make room for your first aid kit, stroller and fun activities! Cargo trays are a great way to keep your vehicle clean.
“I have one in my vehicle right now. I got tired of vacuuming up sand.”
Ian Robinson, Parts Manager and Father
Invest in a roof rack if you need more room. You must be able to see clearly out the back of your window while driving. Loose items could cause damage if you need to suddenly brake. Get active with a bike rack or trailer hitch! Many newer cars can handle a lot – ask our parts specialists if your vehicle can be fitted for one during your next service appointment.
2) Make Room for More
If you have young children, your vehicle needs enough space to comfortably fit your car seats. If you only have one car seat it should be installed in the centre of the row. This is the safest spot for your child in your vehicle. Before leaving make sure the straps are tight and not twisted or tangled. Multiple car seats need extra space. If your vehicle is a tight fit, consider renting a larger vehicle for the occasion or seeing us for an upgrade. Larger vehicles have many family-friendly options such as tents and DVD screens.
3) Prepare for Human Needs
The most important thing to keeping your young passengers happy is to take care of their basic needs such as sleeping and eating. Eating in the car can be messy but you don’t always shave a choice on road trips. Younger children can use their sippy cups, but for bigger kids, the spill-proof travel mug you bring to work will do the trick! Extra comfort can be found by bringing small throw pillows instead of larger ones in small cars.
An easy craft you can do with the kids before you leave is to give them a small reusable container with a lid (an old margarine container works well) and let them decorate it with stickers or anything else their hearts desire. Once you head out on the trip give them their decorated containers and ask them to place their garbage in it. If your kids aren’t fond of cleaning you can use their container to store small toys, crayons, or even snacks on the road.
Map out all the rest stops in the area. If your children need to use the restroom every three hours, plan on visiting a gas station with a public washroom. Matt suggests bringing extra fuel depending on where you’re going.
5) Tires Make the Car Go ‘Round!
Bring along a tire inflator and the phone number for your manufacturer’s road care service to be ready in case of an emergency.
“Make sure the spare tire is in good shape and has proper air pressure in it.”
Matt Salaam, Parts Manager and Outdoor Enthusiast
6) Power up!
Fully charge your electronics the night before and pack its charging cables. Turn on your data alert on your devices or use your vehicle’s WIFI to avoid overage charges. If you are using your car’s navigation add the location to your map a few days before and review the route.
7) Visit the shop before you go.
Before heading out on your next trip your vehicle could use a checkup. Even if you don’t notice any issues driving to and from work, driving at one hundred kilometres an hour for several hours could expose some surprise issues. Bring your car into the shop two weeks before a major road trip so there’s time to order any necessary parts.