Welcome back to another entry on the VIP European Auto blog! Today we are going to discuss ways that you can get your car interior ready for the ultimate family road trip this summer.
Admittedly, family road trips can be difficult. Between fighting over who gets to sit where, packing snacks that satisfy everyone on board, and restlessness that sets in after only a few hours of travel, the journey to the vacation destination can be less than optimal or relaxing. Despite knowing how difficult these trips can be, the memories made are priceless. So, in today’s blog, we are going to offer up some tips that will help make your next family road trip more relaxing and enjoyable.
Tips For Protecting Your Car Interior
You invested a lot into your vehicle and take pride in a clean car interior, but now the annual summer road trip has come around and you are fretting over the fact that your car is going to come back from vacation with stains and look less than optimal. We all remember that scene from the movie Are We There Yet? where the kids ruin the interior of Nick’s car with a juice box and their snacks. You probably want to avoid that from happening to your own car, right? Or, at the very least, you want to protect it when spills do happen. Here’s what you do:
Before the inevitable spills occur, take the time to pre-clean your car prior to the trip to protect it from stains. To prepare, remove all your day-to-day items from the vehicle. Instead of putting this task on your personal to-do list, treat yourself to a nice interior car detail, so you can cross that off your list and concentrate on packing. Many local car washes offer detailing packages that will get your car looking as good as the day you drove it off the lot.
After getting the car cleaned and detailed, you will want to keep it that way for as long as possible. Seat covers, all-weather floor mats, and a cargo/trunk liner are removable options that will help protect your interior, keeping spills and debris contained. These products will not only protect your car interior, but make post-trip cleanup faster as they are easily removable.
Tip #1: Efficiently Organize Your Vehicle
You just spent a bunch of time cleaning out your car and getting your interior in pristine condition, but as everyone with kids knows, things are bound to get messy again in no time. You definitely want to prevent this (or at least minimize the damage), so the first tip we have for you is setting up and teaching our kids proper in-car organization.
The way that you organize your vehicle prior to the vacation will make all of the difference when you are out on the road with your family. To make cleaning up a cinch, have bags accessible for trash. They can be full garbage bags, or little plastic grocery bags that hang on the back of the front seats for easy access. By taking this extra step at the beginning of your road trip, you will reduce the amount of time you will spend cleaning up after the fact.
Second, if you are traveling with kids or teens, make sure that you have bins for toys available in the vehicle. This will help you remain organized and reduce clutter. Also, it will save you a migraine later by eliminating crawling all over the car looking for your child’s lost favorite stuffed animal. If you’re not putting trash bags over the back of your seat, then we recommend hanging pocket organizers! They are fantastic at keeping smaller toys and electronics in order, and within grasp.
Tip #2: Pack Car Friendly Drinks and Snacks
Remember that frightful juice box massacre scene we referenced at the beginning of this blog? Well, now is the time for you to learn from poor Nick’s mistakes and pack car-friendly snacks that will satisfy the kids and leave your car interior stain free.
If you are thinking about bringing along drinks, you should consider packing drinks that are dye free and can be closed. While the syrup in sugary drinks will still leave a bit of sticky residue, drinks without dye will help avoid staining carpets and upholstery. If you can, try and avoid bringing dairy-based drinks, as this can lead to a less than desirable car smell you have to endure for the remainder of the journey. Also, avoid juice boxes and other drinks that can’t be securely closed at all costs! This will help avoid so many spills, trust us.
When planning your snack collection, try to pack non-messy foods, such as beef jerky, carrots, string cheese, or non-chocolate candy (to avoid melting). Also, packing your snacks in individual serving-sized baggies (instead of one large bag of pretzels) and storing them in an insulated, portable snack bag will help with tidiness and cleanup.
Tip #3: Bring Plenty of Activities to Keep the Kids Occupied
If you want to get your kids away from electronics, consider bringing some fun travel games along that they can play while on the road. Many fun board games that you have in your house are also sold as travel size. Some fun travel size games that are available are Connect 4, Yahtzee To Go, Guess Who, and Simon. If you don’t want to bring a board game in the car, make up games and use your imagination. Try activities such as the Alphabet Game, I Spy, and the License Plate Game.
Nowadays, kids seem to have an increasingly shorter attention span. To overcome this hurdle and keep the kids occupied for the entire road trip, parents will need to be armed with an arsenal of activities. If your child has a favorite movie, consider bringing it along for them to enjoy in the car. Similarly, if they also have a favorite soundtrack, make a customized playlist to listen to in the car and sing along with them as you drive towards your destination.
Are You Ready?
With summer coming to a close, many of you are probably looking forward to that last hurrah which will wrap up a relaxing summer. Getting your car ready for a summer trip doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. By taking some preliminary steps to reduce cleanup and avoid that post-trip cleaning hassle, your next road trip can be enjoyable. Also, the interior of your car and wallet will thank you later. Happy travels!