Ensuring safety during a roadtrip for you and your furkids

buying used car tips

Going on a long road trip across the US is often on people’s bucket lists: its infamously long Route 66 attracts visitors from all across the globe. Road trips enable you to see the US at every step of the way, which provides you with the opportunity to visit some of its most infamous national parks and stunning landscapes. It’s also perfectly understandable to be a bit apprehensive about hitting the highways for extended periods of time. If you’re excited and anxious in equal measure, here are a few tips for making the most of your long vacation.

Pre-plan your trip

The idea of heading out on the open road can seem very romantic and appealing, but most people benefit from pre-planning as much as possible. Not only does this allow you to map out hotel and gas stops, but it also ensures you see as much of the US as possible. If you are planning out each leg one step at a time (highly recommended), then book your reservations in advance.

Portable phone chargers for your road trip

Being able to contact emergency services, or bring up your GPS when you’re lost are two valuable options when you are on a road trip. They are also invaluable to your safety. Of course, passengers in the vehicle may be using their phones to listen to music and keep occupied on longer stints of the journey, and so keeping at least one cell phone full-charged is a wise precaution.

In terms of other cables you should bring with you – it’s wise to pack jumper cables somewhere in your car. Returning to your vehicle only to find that you’ve left your headlamps or radio on could be a real nightmare if you don’t have a way to bail yourself out of the situation. Also, be sure to keep the contact number for roadside assistance in each state.

Take regular breaks during your summer road trip

We all know that it isn’t safe to drive under the influence of alcohol, but nor is it safe to head out on the road when you are exhausted. In fact, it’s claimed that being drowsy behind the wheel of a car is responsible for over 100,000 accidents per year. Taking regular motel and coffee breaks will ensure that you are well-rest and awake when you’re navigating America’s largest highways.

Pack a Breathalyzer

If you’re traveling with friends, or are planning to enjoy yourself in the evening while you’re on your road trip, you will need to make sure you are well below the legal alcohol limit. This is not only important for you and your personal safety, but also anyone traveling with you and other drivers. If you are worried about being above the legal limit the next morning after a night of drinking, then an interlock device could be a useful safety device to pack with you, which comes with an easy interlock installation process.

If you’re worried about an upcoming road trip, there’s nothing that will rest your mind more than the knowledge you have pre-prepared. Packing and preparing for every eventuality will give you some reassurance along the way, so you can sit back and relax as you enjoy what the United States has to offer.

What to pack for your Summer Road trip

To help you streamline your summer road trip, here are four ingenious hacks to help you pack light, stay organized, minimize inconveniences and keep everyone in the car entertained. 

Pack Merino Wool to Stay Fresh and Light

Merino wool has long been an open secret in the travelling community, prized for its antibacterial qualities and weather versatility. Because it’s antibacterial, the material stays fresh and odourless for long periods – some travellers wear their merino wool clothing for weeks with no noticeable smell. And because the fabric is both breathable and insulating, it’s suitable for a broad spectrum of climates. 

Because of these two qualities, you only need to pack a few merino wool garments for a road trip, which massively saves on space. Choose versatile items, like the Unbound Merino t-shirt, long-sleeve shirt or sweatpants. 

Repurpose Basic Shower Products 

Looking to stay organized on your road trip? Look no further than your shower. (Yes, you read that right). 

Several shower essentials come in handy as repurposed road trip items. Use a shower caddy to hold messy takeout meals or organize small items. Stick suction organizers (available in the shower aisle of any home store) to your window shield to keep frequently used items readily accessible as you drive. You can even use shampoo as a laundry detergent in a pinch. 

Download Gas and Bathroom Apps to Guide You

Before you hit the open, download a couple of essential road trip apps. Beyond the obvious maps app (a must-have for modern road trips), consider a gas guide and bathroom finder. 

Gas guides like Gasbuddy and Gas Guru show you where the closest – and cheapest – gas stations are in the area. And “toilet finder” apps like Flush tell you where the closest publicly available bathrooms are, wherever you are.  

Strike a Balance Between Music and Audiobooks

Finally, before you leave the driveway, download a mixture of music and audiobooks to keep things interesting on the long drive. Music playlists are fantastic for bursts of energy and momentum, but they can get old fairly quickly – especially if you have young ones in the car. Audiobooks, meanwhile, are terrific for those long stretches of highway when you need to focus your wandering mind on something, but they’re a bit low energy. Creating a playlist that balances the two will keep everyone in the car happy. 

With some fresh merino wool clothing, a few repurposed bathroom items, a couple of handy apps and a balanced playlist, your all-American summer road trip should be as smooth as a freshly paved highway. 

Tips for your pet safe

Shorter walks 
with your pet during your summer road trip

On those hot humid days, limit time outside not only for your but for your pet. If you can’t keep your hand on the ground for more than a few seconds, then it’s too hot for their paws. Pet booties or socks can protect their paws and don’t forget to pack a pet-friendly portable water bottle Another option is to keep your furkids inside on those days and provide potty pads for them to use indoors. Another option is to let them out in your fully fenced backyard if you have one for a quick run & potty break. Immediately follow-up with a cool drink of filtered or bottled water.

Packing the right pet items for trips

To keep your summer fun & safe for your pets make sure to pack the following essentials:

  • Collapsible bowls/ water bottle
  • Pet socks/booties
  • Ice chest full of cold water 
  • Cooling mat 
  • Pet first-aid supply kit 
  • Life jacket (please don’t assume your pet can swim, make sure your pet takes lessons & bathe your pets after swimming. Not doing so will cause skin irritation.) 
  • Any meds, check with your vet that heat & sun doesn’t conflict.

Take advantage of cooler times of the day

During vacays or walks it’s better to do so early in the morning or more so toward the evening. Just like people, furkids must adjust to different climates. So, if you’re traveling or moving to a more tropical climate, start off with limiting the time spent outside to allow time to adjust. Remember, short nosed, long haired, & young/senior or most vulnerable to heat strokes. 

Never leave pet in parked car 

You wouldn’t leave a baby in the car for any amount of time. So don’t do it to your pet. Lines can be longer than planned or you run into someone you know. In 85-degree weather it only takes 10 mins for the temp in the car to rise to 102 degrees,120 degrees within 20 mins. Rolling down the windows doesn’t reduce the temperature. At this point it only takes a few minutes to suffer from a heat stroke. 

Bonus tip: 100.5-102.5 normal temperature for pet |104 heat exhaustion| 107-109 heat stroke

About the author

Malika Bowling

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!