(BPT) - Summer vacation is the time to pack up the family, dust off your suitcases and hit the road. These short summer months will be filled with trips to Grandma and Grandpa's, adventures in the great outdoors and sunny days at the amusement park.
Once you're on the road, you'll be making fun memories that will be shared with friends and family long after the summer months have come to an end. When it comes to packing the family into the car for a summer road trip, there are five essentials you don't want to forget.
1. Snack foods - Everyone will get hungry at different times during the trip, and you won't have time to stop for each and every tummy growl. With snack bags filled with dried fruit, nuts and granola bars, you'll have nutritious and delicious foods to keep everyone happy until the next scheduled meal stop.
2. Entertainment kits - Children get bored on long car rides so before hitting the open road, ask each child to pack a small, closable container filled with fun activities they would like to do in the car. Suggest that they bring along summer reading books, entertainment devices (don't forget the extra batteries or chargers) and crossword puzzles or Sudoku. If it fits into their traveling case, they can bring it, and the closable container will allow you to keep the car tidy.
3. Toilet paper - When you're on the road, a little touch of home can go a long way. Make sure to pack some basic comforts - like your favorite toilet paper - so you can enjoy the go even when you're miles from home. According to a survey conducted by Charmin and Wakefield Research, 23 percent of Americans admit to clogging a toilet in a public restroom and 21 percent in a hotel room. To avoid this situation, and bring some of the familiarity of home with you on the next family vacation, be sure to pack Charmin Ultra Soft and Charmin Ultra Strong toilet paper. Both are Roto-Rooter approved and come with a clog-free, septic-safe guarantee.
4. First aid kit - Bumps, scrapes and other minor illnesses are bound to happen when you're enjoying an adventurous family vacation, but don't let them slow you down. Pack the first aid kit with treatments for car sickness, cold symptoms and bandages so you can resume your fun as quickly as possible.
5. Maps - You'd think in this day and age your smartphone and GPS units would help you navigate the country, but there are spots where service still isn't available - especially when it comes to some of the road-trip-worthy wilderness areas. So pack some printed maps and have your kids follow along with the route while you're driving so they can easily visualize how much ground you're covering.