Whether you are going from point A to point B, from Vegas to L.A. or from work to home, a few simple accessories can make your trip less routine and more awesome. Certain upgrades deal with performance and power like special editions or six cylinder engines over the standard four. Others are more cosmetic like low profile tires or a sunroof. If you are in the market for your next vehicle, either new or used, here are some great options to look for!
I love music when I’m driving. So for me, the auxiliary option, or better yet iPod jack is something I look for when car shopping and even in a roadtrip rental. Even with an MP3 compatible CD player, you are limited to 100+ songs. Having the jacks gives you access to every song in your playlist (or MP3/iPod player). It saves fiddling with CDs and the frustration of having a disc skip.
Steering wheel mounted controls also add to the enjoyment level of a car. To have total control of your music, cruise control and phone just add an extra level of fun to the car, especially over a long period. Some people aren’t a fan of electronic shifting but I love it. I love driving a real standard as well but the electronic shifting, where you don’t have to worry about a clutch, gives you the best of both worlds.
On a long roadtrip, I want everything to be perfect. For me, a perfect roadtrip includes great company, great music and great car. And the great car includes everything I just listed.
Travelling with a Child
When it comes to travelling, especially with a kids, planning is key. My wife and I have made several long road trips with our daughter in tow. Each trip went successfully better as we learned things about what she likes and wants. Granted every child is different, here are a handful of tips that made travelling a little easier for us.
She likes to sleep but hates waking up. She would wake up scared. With that in mind, we wouldn’t put luggage in the back seat. That meant the non-driver could move to the back to hang out with her and put her at ease. Toys, activities and movies are a great distraction. While we always vowed to not have a DVD system in the car (portable or not) when it was gifted to us, we took full advantage. At first she would watch the same musical DVD over and over (by choice) but she eventually started watching other shows.
Snacks and food are a no-brainers. You are parents, you know what your kids like. Bring them food they like rather than try new things or even different packaging. Kids know what their favorite foods and drinks look like too.
Travel with kids is never easy but it can be manageable. Plan your trip and pick a kid friendly route. If you have two possible routes and one includes exits with family friendly venues and the other is just the open road, we tend to pick the route with exits. It is worth it for us.