Having gone on five million and one road trips, my family's learned a lot about summer travel safety over the years. Things from (seemingly) common sense issues to health and wellness, we've found that sometimes it takes a little trial-and-error to be totally prepared.
After all, experience is the best teacher.
Here are the must-know summer travel tips we've learned!
Be fire-safe. Have an extinguisher on-hand whenever you're camping or driving. It sounds like one of those silly checklist items that nobody ever actually needs, but Nate and I have been involved in a number of car-burning and woods-blazing experiences. We take this extremely seriously now.
Plan breaks or get help. Summer travel can be exhausting. Long hours on the road or in the air can leave parents tired and hazy. It's a good idea to plan a rendezvous with family who can step in to help or hire a sitter to give yourself a break. No matter what, pull over if you're sleepy and make sure you get plenty of rest.
Be animal-wise. If you happen off the beaten path like Nate and I often do, you're bound to encounter a little wildlife. I can't even tell you how many outrageously-risky moves we've seen other travelers take, from poking rattlesnakes to walking around the backside of a burro. Do your research before you go and if you're unsure about how to respond to a certain living creature, it's best to do what the locals do..or avoid the animal entirely.
Get car-ready. Now's a good time to check your brakes and tires and upgrade car seats if the buckles need a height adjustment or the frame has expired.
Be sun-savvy. Nate once got heat stroke because he spent too much time out on the lake in the blazing Arizona sun. Untreated, this dangerous condition can cause brain, heart, kidney and muscle damage. Drink lots of water, avoid caffeine and alcohol and take plenty of shade breaks. On a less life-threatening note, sun burns also kind of suck so apply sunscreen liberally.
Know where to get medical care. We’re still working with UnitedHealthcare, and their awareness topic for this month is is “where to go for health care.” It's important to be coverage-savvy! UnitedHealthcare's free Health4Me app makes it easy to find nearby health care providers, but you should also be prepared in case cell service falters. Nate and I always look up the nearest hospital when we travel so we know where to head if something bad happens. Travel with medication in its original bottle and bring extra medical supplies for any conditions you have or emergencies you may encounter.
What are your tried-and-true summer travel safety tips?