Family vacations bring to mind adventures, bonding and seeing the country from a unique perspective. That said, a road trip with extended family, kids and even Fido can go awry -- fast.

If you are planning a family road trip, here are some things to keep in mind:

1) Road trips might seem like a less expensive alternative, but they can get pricey -- fast. And without notice. Supplies such as emergency kits, flashlights, first aid kits and warning triangles and flares are all road trip essentials available at O'Reilly Auto Parts, where they will match any local auto part's store's price on any item.

2) This is your family we are talking about here. Testing your vehicle a week or two before the big trip is a good idea, especially if it is mostly used to go to the grocery store or dropping the kids off at school. Mobil Oil suggests traveling at high speeds on a highway and listening for "grinding or moaning" wheels and vibrating or screeching when braking. If anything seems off, you should have it checked by someone you trust. Professional technicians have counted on O'Reilly Auto Parts for years, so they are a great place to start when beginning your road trip prep. 

3) Don't forget that you will likely be traveling to places you've never been before. Prepare ahead of time in case there are car supplies you need that might not have been obvious before leaving. While spontaneity is part of a good road trip, you'll want to make sure you map your route as much as possible beforehand. Paper maps seem dated, but they can be lifesavers when your cell service fails (plus the young ones can follow along in the backseat). If using smart phone mapping, use the map download function so they are available as long as you have a charged phone. Lastly, visit O'Reilly Auto Parts find-a-store web page to jot down locations within your travel area (and you can access on the road if necessary). With 5,306 stores in 47 states, they'll have you covered.

4) Prepare for the bad stuff. But also prepare for the good stuff. It might seem like the actual driving during a road trip is the "between the fun stuff" part, but it can actually result in some of the fondest memories. Ask each family member to create a playlist of ten songs that another person will like (even the dog). Print out a list of road trip games like this one from Thought Catalogue. Stop frequently and everyone has to take a selfie no matter where you are.

5) Consider all the batteries. We live in a "keep it charged" world and this is even more true on a family road trip. Be sure to label each family member's changing cords, and set up a charging schedule. Consider additional charging accessories, as well. Most importantly, don't forget that the summer heat can affect your car's battery. If it's been a while since being checked, it's not a bad idea to do so, according to esurance. Stop in at an O'Reilly's Auto Parts and they will check it for free (in addition to free bulb and wiper blade installation).

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