In an often hectic world filled with multi-tasking, road trips serve as a great way for families to reconnect. The annual family vacation not only provides a much-needed break from the daily routine, but also strengthens the bond among its members. This being the case, most of us can’t wait to load our suitcases, pack the car, and get out of town for a while.
However, amidst the fun of our escape from everyday life, there is something that can be neglected and even completely overlooked. The very vessel used to steer us and our loved ones away from home can become a messy, cluttered , garbage transport in a very short period of time. In fact, by the time we return to the Land of Reality, the once relatively clean family car has been transformed into a rolling dumpster!
The trick is to avoid this scenario before it has a chance to begin. So how can we accomplish this?
Place garbage bags in the car
Those plastic bags that grocery stores now frequently use are ideal for this. Hang one from each of the clothes hooks hanging overhead; in both the front and rear seating areas. This way, every occupant inside the vehicle will have easy access to these makeshift garbage containers.
Throw away disposable items whenever you stop
With Mom, Dad, and two or more kids in the back, it is inevitable that two things will happen at one point or another. First, there will be bathroom breaks, so whenever you pull into that Rest Stop or convenient store just off the highway, take a minute to throw out refuse such as food wrappers, soda or juice bottles, Styrofoam coffee cups, napkins, Kleenex, or even old chewing gum. People will also get hungry and therefore this can be done whenever you stop to eat as well. Any of these places you may stop will have garbage cans.
Pack away souvenirs
A vacation trip wouldn’t be complete without buying something as a keepsake along the way. To avoid clutter or even a mess inside the car, keep them in their containers until you return home. When stopping for the night at a motel, remove these items from the back seat or trunk area and pack them away in your luggage. This will free up space in the car and keep things tidy all in one.
Don’t let anyone inside the car if they are covered with dirt, grass, mud, or sand from the beach.
This is just common sense at play here. When someone runs through the mud, wet grass, or gets something like sand stuck to their bare feet after wading in the water, these elements will get attached to the seat upholstery and/or the floor beneath. Make sure everybody is brushed or rinsed off before allowing them to enter the car.
Keep pets in carriers, or better yet, leave them at home with a caretaker.
Dogs and cats in particular shed hair. This will make a mess of your car’s interior in no time at all. If you must bring a pet along on your trip, keep it inside a carrier. Just be sure to walk it whenever you stop somewhere,. They need exercise, but also need to relieve themselves just as we do. While on vacation, the last thing anyone wants to do is clean up a pet’s urine or droppings! Your best bet is to leave them behind at a kennel or with a friend.
Run through a car wash and do a quick vacuuming
The longer the road trip, the greater the potential for dirt and bugs to accumulate on your car. Even when hundreds of miles away from home, it doesn’t hurt to wash the car a time or two. And despite all of the precautions listed above, your car’s interior can still get dirty. To make your post-vacation car cleaning easier, why not vacuum it a couple of times while on the road? For 75 cents and perhaps 5 minutes of your time, it can be well worth the effort.
By following this advice, you will be one step ahead and hence have a much cleaner and neater car following that trip.