You’ve got your baby set with sunscreen, you’ve got food, you’ve got diapers, changing mat, stroller, baby chest holder, baby carrying backpack, and all the things that come with traveling with an infant. You’re a baby moving pro!
But here are some other things you might want to pack or verify before you head out for a long Memorial Day weekend car ride that don’t directly relate to baby. These just might help you and the family get to where you’re going without major headaches along the way.
The additional Memorial Day checklist
- Check your tire pressure – seriously, it will save you money, will save your tires, can save your life.
- Check and make sure your spare tire is there with the jack and the handle that turns the jack and whatever is needed to remove the nuts from your tire. Make sure spare tire has air.
- Have a jumpstarter/tire inflator handy. These things are useful for everything, even charging cell phones in a pinch.
- Print out your map. Your GPS will fail. Your batteries will die. There will be something that disrupts the internet.
- Do not update any apps on your phone or tablet. They’ll somehow manage to break your device and you’ll spend vacation trying to fix it.
- Check Google Maps or WAZE for traffic problems. Nothing sucks worse than an eight hour trip that becomes a 13 hour trip due to an avoidable disaster area.
- Check your wiper fluid. You’re going to be amazed how many birds are going to crap on your car if it’s low.
- Drive safe.
- Bring extra food, water, etc. You never know when you’re going to need it.
- Pack a book – one of those physical ones that you can read while everyone’s asleep and you’re at hour two of a standstill in traffic.
- Always know where your towel is.
- Plan as if no internet, electronics, or air conditioning will work. Most trips usually at least one of these will be the case at some point.
- If you’re traveling somewhere you don’t know out in the middle of nowhere – DO NOT TRUST GOOGLE MAPS. Trust no mapping actually, verify with someone or use satellite imaging if you’re still unsure.
- Your GPS is abhorantly stupid when it comes to rural areas. Mine sent me to a different state once because the street/name numbering it thought matched a town 40 miles from my destination.
- Check where your GPS is actually sending you to – many times you’ll find you’re being directed to the center of town as opposed to where you actually wanted to go.
- Drive with your lights on.
- Bring enough water and towels to make baby or kiddos a makeshift AC if something goes wrong.
- Pack duct tape. You’ll never know when you need it. If you’ve previously packed duct tape, check to make sure it’s not melted into itself.
- AAA is your friend, however during holidays don’t expect that friendship to get you on the road any quicker. They’re kind of busy.
- Get some Febreze car inserts if your car starts smelling like dirty diaper or french fries. Only open one though, these things are potent.
- Keep a flashlight handy. By handy I mean where you can find it in the dark, because that’s where you’re going to be when you need it. This does not mean in a trunk under 40 metric tons of crap.
- Bring some rope. You never know when you might need to tie down a trunk, air dry some laundry, or tie up an unsuspecting hitchhiker.
- If you don’t have a tire repair kit, get one. They’re very cheap. Also get something to inflate the tires.
- Don’t forget to pack whatever baby requires to go to sleep. Really, don’t forget to bring that cuddle blanket.
That’s about it. Feel free to add more.