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The Ultimate Summer Road Trip Outline and Manual Part 1: Packing Essentials and Your Packing Strategy

We are right in the middle of the summer and many families and friends still have big plans to hit the roads before school starts to experience a great American tradition; Summer Time Family Road Trips. Heck, I myself know of 3 families that are planning road trips of varying degrees. One is merely heading north to New England, another is traveling down to Disney World with the fam and another is making the ultimate journey and plans on driving across this great nation. Regardless of the miles each will travel, there are a number of constants that you must pay attention to as you plan your trip and finally start the engine on day 1.

packing essentials, preparing for a road trip, road trip planning

How to properly prepare and pack for your next family summer road trip

Remember this, no matter how hard you plan or how smart you believe yourself to be, you are going to have stressful moments not only on the open road, but also as you plan and pack. This is okay so do not fret. The perfect way to get out of the house with the entire family is to plan an adventure that will allow you to create memories that will last you a lifetime…and do so on budget that will not break the kids college fund! Just always go back to the fact that you are doing this to bond as a family, see many of the wonderful landmarks across this country, have fun, laugh and enjoy each others company without the normal day-to-day distractions that pull most families in different directions.

To minimize the amount of headaches during the trip, I suggest that you seriously put a large amount of effort and energy into planning the trip. While this isn’t the most fun or glamorous part of a road trip, proper planning will enable you to have a saner, safer and more jubilant time in your car, with your family on the winding roads. Some of these hot tips will strike you as being no brainers, but you would be shocked at how many basic items are overlooked in the midst of getting your little ones ready, making sure your vehicle is in top-notch condition and that you and your loved one are on the same page for the trip. Point is the basics are crucial and you cannot afford to overlook any of them.

Packing for Your Summer Road Trip

Pack with care! Pack smart! Pack & prep efficiently! For example, when I say pack smart, make sure that items you need to access on a regular basis are accessible. Make sure you enter all of your hard hours of route prepping into your GPS, and or Navigation, device. Furthermore, you need a backup so you must have all of your road maps, with your planned route outlined, safely packed in your vehicle. You must pack a spare key and the critical part of this rudimentary notion is that you put that spare key in your wallet. Think about it…if you pack the spare key in a bag inside of your automobile, what good will that do if you are unlucky enough to lock your primary car keys inside of the vehicle?

While I pray that no one ever needs to use the list of items I am about to outline, you must prepare for any type of emergency that may arise on the open roads so that you can navigate your family to safety while minimizing anxiety and the possibility of injury. Thus, here approximately 14 things to have in your car this summer in the event of an emergency.

packing the car, packing for a road trip, must have items for a road trip

What to bring and how to efficiently and adequately pack for your next summer road trip with your family.

A car jack in case you get a flat tire. You should clearly inspect and confirm that you spare tire is present before leaving as well. Otherwise, this car jack will have you feeling a bit more like a jack a**.

Purchase a spare charged cell phone or extra battery, which must be charged prior to hitting the road, so that you can still call for help in a pinch. Many of our great American roads are in isolated areas and may make it difficult to make an outgoing call. Therefore, you want to have as much battery juice as possible in case you need to hike to find a signal. Let me put it like this, it barely takes up any room in your vehicle and the benefit outweighs the added cost a million fold.

Road flares will assist emergency worker and rescuers  if your vehicle becomes disabled. If your vehicle has fallen into a ditch or if there is incremental weather, your road flares will greatly enhance the likelihood of you being found in an expedited manner.

Jumper cables in case your battery dies while parked at a monument or rest stop. Providing you had your vehicle professionally checked by a factory trained technician, preferably at a new car dealership like Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ, the likelihood of your battery meeting its death on a summer road trip is very low. This is more of a concern on Winter crusade across country, but nonetheless, Jumper cables do not take up much room and should always be stored in your vehicle.

Emergency triangles to place in the road if your vehicle becomes disabled and cannot make it to the shoulder lane

Candles & matches as a backup to your flashlight or to assist in making a fire.

Flashlights & spare batteries will allow you to what is going once the sun goes down and will greatly enhance your ability to signal for help at night. Make sure you have a bright bulb and make sure you have extra batteries. While you want to conserve the use of your flashlight, you may find the need to use it more than expected since your children could be scared of the pitch black environment. Remember, you always want to keep everyone as calm as possible and using your flashlight to keep your family feeling safe might just do the trick.

Blankets for your entire family. You would be amazed how frigid it gets in the desert during the middle of the night and the ability to keep you and your family warm is vital in a scenario such as this.

First Aid Kits should always be kept in your vehicle. If you do not have one, go purchase one immediately regardless of your long distance driving plans. If you currently have one stored in your auto, make sure that the supplies are abundant in the event that someone is hurt in an accident. Keep in mind accidents can also occur as you explore hiking trails, explore monuments, visit amusement parks and just in every day daily life. One more thing, more important than making sure you have adequate supply levels, be sure you know what everything is in your First Aid Kit and you know how to apply or use it.

A basic tool kit that includes screw driver, hammer, wrench, small shovel, etc will enable you to fix minor problems on your own. Moreover, and a fact often overlooked, even if you do not know how to make minor repairs or corrections to vehicles, there is a very good chance that a passerby may have the knowledge / ability, but not have the necessary tools. Plus, a shovel will help you dig out of a ditch, wet mud and plenty of other scenarios. You can purchase a folding shovel similar to those used by back country skiers and snowboarders that will easily fit in your vehicle.

Water & dried food will keep you hydrated, alert and allow you to maintain your blood sugar levels. You never know how long it will take rescue vehicles or other road warriors to find you so you need to be prepared to keep your family healthy while you wait for help, or worse to be randomly found. Dried food like granola bars, dried fruit, power bars / cliff bars, beef jerky, canned nuts, peanut butter and other similar foods are perfect because they are packed with nutrients and protein that will enable you to keep a high energy level without going bad in the heat. Finally, these snacks will also be consumed throughout the good times of your road journey allowing you to save money, time and still eat nutritious.

road trip

Summer Road Trip Guide & Manual Part 1

Kitty litter or a bag of sand….yes, kitty litter acts as a very good tool to assist your vehicle in gaining traction. Similar to sand, by spreading kitty litter around your tire and wet mud, you will improve your traction tremendously.

Once you gather all of your essentials and pack your other belongings not only will need to make sure the most used items are located towards the top and hence easy to get to, but making sure everything is securely stowed is equally imperative. These packing tips are just the tip of the iceberg to the perfect summer road trip. In soon to be published additions to The Ultimate Summer Road Trip Outline and Manual we will be covering how and what you need to professional have serviced and prepped on your vehicle prior to your departure date, a few tips that will greatly enhance how you plan the actual Road Trip route, driving safety tips that every summer road warrior should pay attention to and some helpful links and websites that will make your family summer adventure not only safer and saner, but more FUN as well!

 

2011 Chevrolet Volt

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has recently given a few impressions to those journalists who have been aloud twenty minutes inside one. The first impression is the silence. It is one thing to coast along doing 15-20 mpg, but to accelerate from 0-60 mph with no noise other than that of the wind and tires is incredible, and Tony Posawatz said that the sounds will be even less noticeable on the final product. Secondly, the best way to decrease speed in the Volt is by lifting off the gas pedal. When the car is shifted into low mode, the motor then charges the batteries while also slowing the car. Thirdly, acceleration is impressive, GM is aiming for the feel of a 250-hp V6 sedan, and expects to have a sub-nine second 0-60 time. The Chevrolet Volt could very well be the next big hit that GM needs.

 

Nissan Electric Car Debuts with Lithium-Ion Battery

The new electric car from Nissan will be available in the United States in 2010 and will use a rear wheel powertrain that will deliver twice the power as conventional nickel-metal batteries. Nissan said in a statement that, “Under the NISSAN GT 2012 business plan, the company has committed to zero-emission vehicle leadership, and has announced plans to introduce an all-electric vehicle in 2010 and mass market globally in 2012. The advanced laminated compact lithium-ion batteries are installed under the floor, without sacrificing either cabin or cargo space. The production vehicle to be introduced in 2010 will have a unique body-style and is not based on any existing Nissan model. “The parallel-power train system comprises an energy-optimizing system with two clutches, where one motor is directly connected to an engine and transmission via two separate clutches. Under changing driving conditions, the motor switches between the two clutches to optimize and conserve energy utilization as well as improve fuel-efficiency.” The battery will automatically turn on if the car is idle and then shut off the motor in an effort to save fuel.

Nissan Electric Car Debuts with Lithium-Ion Battery

The new electric car from Nissan will be available in the United States in 2010 and will use a rear wheel powertrain that will deliver twice the power as conventional nickel-metal batteries. Nissan said in a statement that, “Under the NISSAN GT 2012 business plan, the company has committed to zero-emission vehicle leadership, and has announced plans to introduce an all-electric vehicle in 2010 and mass market globally in 2012. The advanced laminated compact lithium-ion batteries are installed under the floor, without sacrificing either cabin or cargo space. The production vehicle to be introduced in 2010 will have a unique body-style and is not based on any existing Nissan model. "The parallel-power train system comprises an energy-optimizing system with two clutches, where one motor is directly connected to an engine and transmission via two separate clutches. Under changing driving conditions, the motor switches between the two clutches to optimize and conserve energy utilization as well as improve fuel-efficiency.” The battery will automatically turn on if the car is idle and then shut off the motor in an effort to save fuel.

2009 Chevrolet Traverse

The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse, the ultimate family crossover with seating for eight, is available in three trim levels. The base LS which starts at $28,990, the LT which starts at $31,545 and the LTZ which starts at $39,810. There are also two V6 engine choices, one puts out 281 horsepower and 253 pound feet of torque, as a single exhaust and can be found powering the LS and LT models. The other engine has 288 horsepower and 270 pound feet of torque. Exterior features include a deep set grille with chrome-ringed trim, turn signals integrated in the outside mirrors, a rear spoiler over the liftgate window and a panoramic sunroof. Inside, the Traverse with available navigation system, is at the upper-center position, and seating for seven or eight adults, including two front bucket seats and a 60/40 second row bench seat or two second row captains chair and 60/40 third row bench seat.

Nissan Electric Car to Arrive 2010

A product planning official from Nissan has revealed that they will unveil an electric vehicle this year that will be launched in 2010. The unnamed Nissan source said, “We’ve all been talking quietly about it, and everyone’s been experimenting with it, but you can expect several significant technology and product announcements between now and the end of the year.”  The source also says that the plug-in will have an 80kW electric motor powered by lithium-ion battery packs, front wheel drive and a unique body style.

Nissan Electric Car to Arrive 2010

A product planning official from Nissan has revealed that they will unveil an electric vehicle this year that will be launched in 2010. The unnamed Nissan source said, “We’ve all been talking quietly about it, and everyone’s been experimenting with it, but you can expect several significant technology and product announcements between now and the end of the year.”  The source also says that the plug-in will have an 80kW electric motor powered by lithium-ion battery packs, front wheel drive and a unique body style.

Nissan NV2500 Concept Set for Debut

The Nissan NV2500 Concept is one of the largest concepts vehicles to ever be created by Nissan. The innovative NV2500 shows Nissan’s entry into the North American Commercial Vehicle market in 2010 and is designed to highlight multi-purpose utility solutions in the real world.

Nissan NV2500 Concept Set for Debut

The Nissan NV2500 Concept is one of the largest concepts vehicles to ever be created by Nissan. The innovative NV2500 shows Nissan’s entry into the North American Commercial Vehicle market in 2010 and is designed to highlight multi-purpose utility solutions in the real world.

Electric Nissan to Have 100-Mile Battery Range

 Nissan’s new all-electric car will be sold starting late next year and will have 100 miles on pure battery range. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that Mark Perry, product planning and strategy direction said that the car will seat five and that the 100 miles of pure battery range is more than double the battery range of some competitors’ electric cars. While a similar vehicle may range from $28,000 to $30,000 the U.S. government is offering a tax credit of up to $7,500 on the electric car. Perry also said that the annual maintenance costs will be about $1,350 less for a pure electric vehicle than a conventional car. Perry has also said that “The payback is immediate.” This Nissan is estimated to cost about 90 cents to “fill the tank” and will take four to eight hours to do so, which they plan to reduce to four hours in 2012.

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