Road trip. Those two words have a vast range of reactions among people. Children begin grudgingly counting how many hours they will be spending in the car with their parents, young adults are anxious to see what the country has to offer, and others, like myself, desire to sit in an air-conditioned room and watch National Lampoon’s Vacation.
If you have yet to see Vacation, the film follows the now-famous Griswold family on their cross-country road trip where anything that could go wrong happens. The 98 minute comedy will leave you in tears of laughter, but there are also many lessons to be learned from the unfortunate adventure. Here are just a few:
Ensure vehicle is prepared for the trip. Before you embark on your adventure, take your car for a checkup. This includes items such as batteries, tires, belts and fluids. The last thing you want is to break down in the middle of nowhere.
Practice safe driving habits. Driving while drowsy is extremely dangerous for yourself and everyone around you. If possible, alternate drivers every few hours. Always use caution while driving, observe speed limits, and buckle up. Additional highway safety tips are available at RedCross.org.
Create an emergency kit for the car. American Red Cross sells emergency preparedness kits that are great for any road trip-bound car. If something bad does happen, being prepared will save you from potential amounts of massive stress and possibly even save a life.
Research your trip. Yes, more preparedness advice. Research your routes, stops and stays. Clark Griswold was not prepared. Once they reached their final destination, Walley World, it was closed and undergoing maintenance. Do not be Clark Griswold. Roadtrippers.com allows you to map your trip and find interesting stops along the way. You may even find a special spot of American Red Cross history, such as Clara Barton’s home or our National Headquarters.
Sun and heat protection. Although in a car, the sun can still do damage to your body. Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen and sunglasses to protect you from harmful rays. In addition, never leave children or pets in a vehicle. The inside of a vehicle rapidly reaches deadly temperatures during summer.
Leaving the children? Find the right sitter. If it is a trip for the grownups, hire a Red Cross certified babysitter. Red Cross offers babysitting training courses which cover important information and a plethora of emergency training, keeping your children safe.
Music. Road trips are synonymous with thoughtfully crafted playlists. Create your own mixes spanning from melodies that accompanied the Griswold’s adventure to today’s tunes and satisfy any passenger. Below are a few selections that you cannot help but dance to while in the car (safely, of course…more of a head bob and hand tap-type dance).
- Holiday Road- Lindsey Buckingham
- Babel- Mumford & Sons
- Blitzkrieg Bop- The Ramones
- Sweater Weather- The Neighbourhood
- Dancin’ Across the USA- Lindsey Buckingham
- I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like)- Michael Franti & Spearhead
- Come on Eileen- Dexys Midnight Runners
- Ho Hey- The Lumineers
Road trips can be fabulous journeys. When prepared for anything that may come your way, a stressful moment can be turned around in minutes. So have fun, create memories, and make your children absolutely miserable. Safe travels, friends.