There are some activities that are so quintessentially “summer” that the very mention of them gets you excited for warmer, longer days: cookouts, baseball, the beach, camping and, one of my personal favorites, road trips. My husband, Stephen, and I recently took our first road trip of the summer from New York City to Michigan to visit family. What I love about road trips is all of the new places that you discover along the way that you otherwise would have missed, like the Pocono Snake and Animal Farm or Punxsutawney Phil. But, while I enjoy hitting the open road, it can be tough to be cooped up in the car for hours on end, especially when the car can start to get messy between rest stops, fast-food fixes and tourist attractions.
That’s why, whether planning a weekend getaway with family or a cross-country adventure with friends, it’s important to prep the car so that the journey ahead is comfortable for everyone who is along for the ride. Check out my top tips below to get your vehicle travel-ready and clean before the next big trip.
- No one wants to spend hours cooped up in a cluttered, messy car. Before hitting the road, take the time to clear the car of any garbage, wipe down surfaces like the dashboard and cup holders, and wash streaky windows. Also, make sure to put empty trash bags into the glove compartment to easily deposit garbage during the actual trip. The bags can then be thrown away at rest stops on the road.
- Also, eliminate any odors that may have seeped into upholstery or rugs. Use Febreze™ Carpet Deodorizing Powder when vacuuming the car for an easy solution. Just sprinkle the powder on upholstery and rugs, wait for a few minutes and vacuum as usual. The powder cleans up to three times better than vacuuming alone* and leaves behind a light, fresh scent.
- If you’re traveling with kids, it’s necessary to have some activities to occupy the time spent in the car. Store coloring books, crayons, markers, toys, games and other items in collapsible bins or a car caddy to keep everything organized. Kids can still reach what they want to use but can also easily put them back in one place when they’re finished.
- During long road trips, it’s normal to eat meals and snacks in the car. Store wet wipes to clean sticky messes and food residue. Also, keep white, non-gel toothpaste in the car in the event of ketchup or mustard spills on upholstery. Rub the stain gently with the toothpaste, and then wipe it away with a clean, damp cloth.
- If the dog will be joining the family on the trip, keep a bath mat or two in the car to protect seats from muddy paws after rest stops. The rubber bottom will help to keep the mat in place.
Febreze, Hawaiian Aloha and Thai Dragon Fruit are trademarks of The Procter and Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, used under license by BISSELL Homecare, Inc.
*Cleaning results based upon measurements of color reflectance and brightness of carpet fibers.