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Mom’s Guide to Prepping Your Car for Summer Vacation

Summer is here and it’s time to make sure your vehicle is all ready to go for your next summer vacation road trip!! With five kids I’ve learned it’s always important to be as prepared as possible before you leave, in order to cut down on any extra unnecessary stops!! So I’ve partnered with Theisen’s to put together Mom’s Guide to Prepping Your Car for Summer Vacation!! 

Mom's Guide to Prepping Your Car for Summer Vacation1. Make sure to get your oil changed and your tires checked.

I love that Theisen’s does oil changes. You can schedule an appointment in advance or walk-in. They also can check, charge, or replace your battery, and they sell and install tires! Oil changes usually take around 30 minutes and my kids don’t mind wandering the store to look at the toys, clothes, baby chicks (during the Spring), and eating the free popcorn while we wait!! It’s also a great idea to pick up a tire gauge to have in your vehicle if you need to check your tire pressure on the road!

2. Have a back-up charger in case your battery won’t start.

The last thing I want with a van full of kids is to be stuck in an unfamiliar place with a vehicle that won’t start! Jumper cables are great, but they’re only good if there’s another vehicle around to help! That’s why I picked up this Peak Jump-Starter. Charge it up before your trip, then keep it in your vehicle. If your battery dies you can simply hook it up to your battery to jump start it without needing another car! Genius! It also comes with a USB port to charge your devices.

3. Make sure to have a flashlight.

In the event that you do have car trouble on the road, you don’t want to be stuck in the dark without a light! I picked up this portable lantern with a magnetic base and retractable hook. Perfect for looking under the hood. Or finding your kid’s lost lovey under the seat. Don’t forget the batteries!

4. Be prepared for the mess.

Summer road trips + kids = messy. Especially when you’re eating meals in the car or handing out snacks to keep the kids entertained. I like to keep a portable trash can in the car for all the wrappers, drink containers, and other garbage. It’s great to have one that pops up to use or collapses to store and has a liner to help contain spills. I also keep a roll of paper towels on hand to clean up spills and use food storage containers to hold the kids’ individual snacks! After you get back from vacation, use these cleaning wipes to make your vehicle look like it hasn’t gone through the zombie apocalypse. 

5. Plan for emergencies.

When you’re traveling, anything can happen. Including injuries. I always make sure I keep my phone charged in case I need to call for help and that I have first aid supplies along for the ride. I love these little first aid kits because they’re small enough to fit in my purse or the glove compartment (they’re only $1 so I got one for each)! And you can refill them when they’re empty! Add some first aid ointment, extra alcohol wipes and some hydrocortisone cream, and you should be set!

I love that I was able to pick up all of these things at Theisen’s (with kids in tow) in a short amount of time! And that it was fun for them to come along! Be sure to check out their website for all the things you can pick up to make your vehicle summer vacation-ready!! 


Connect with Theisen’s

SW Cedar Rapids Location

3111 16th Avenue SW 
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 | View on Map

(319) 366-2953

NE Cedar Rapids Location

1800 51st Street NE 
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 | View on Map

(319) 393-1313

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