Are you ready for your next big road trip adventure?  The open highway, beautiful scenery and new sights to see.  Road trips can be so much fun but can also be a little daunting when traveling with kids.  You have the worry about keeping the kids entertained so they don’t get bored and drive you crazy, and the worry of a messy and sometimes smelly car if you are not prepared.  

My friends Betsy and Rich decided to take their two girls on a trip from Pittsburgh, PA to Florida.  They were so excited about the trip, especially since this was the first time their children were seeing the ocean!  With 2 kids they knew that the car was bound to get messy.  Before they left for their trip, they put a game plan together of car cleaning hacks.  With their two girls in tow, they loaded up their SUV and set out on a trip that would be something that they could not only enjoy but remember all their lives

Traveling with The Kids

Betsy and Rich knew that this trip was going to be filled with new experiences for them and their kids, but the last thing that they wanted was a filthy car.  The added stress and embarrassment of a dirty car is easily fixed when you have a clear game plan and a few car cleaning hacks up your sleeve.  Here were the tips that they found that helped them out the most:

1.  Start Your Trip with a Clean Car Inside and Out

Before leaving for the trip, Rich took the car to the local express car wash. When you start with a clean car inside and out, you want it to stay that way.  This little bit of extra motivation was a great start to get everyone ready.

car cleaning tips while traveling

2.  Keep A Trash Bag Handy

Keeping a trash bag in the car is a necessity.  They were able to dispose of anything that they did not need into the trash bag as the trip proceeded.  Since this makes cleanup easy, it is suggested to have more than one along for the trip.

3.  No Eating In The Car

They made a rule that there will be no eating in the car.  This stops food from falling on the floor and having to clean it up later.  Instead of eating in the car, they stopped for food along the way and they also made time for an enjoyable ice cream stop that the kids loved. 

4.  Tidying Up During Stops

At rest stops and when getting gas, they decided to clean up the car a little bit at a time.  They made sure that they picked up the trash and threw it out.  Just small things, like washing off fingerprints from the windows can make a huge difference and it did for them.  They did the windows a little bit at a time so when cleaning it out later, the windows were already done.  

family road trip rules

5.  Organization

Having everything organized is key to making sure that they could find everything easily when they need it.  It also helped immensely when they had to unpack the car and clean it.  When they kept everything in its place, it was easy to find and they were able to remove it from the car as quickly as possible.  

6.  Mini Vac

Carrying a mini vac in the car is a really great way to get things done on breaks.  This allowed Betsy and Rich to sweep out the car a little at a time so that they didn’t have as much to do when they reached their destination.  

7.  Craft Bags and Games for The Kids

Making craft bags for the kids that include games, pens, colored pencils, paper, etc. is something that really helped.  When the girls were finished with their craft activities, they put their supplies back inside the bag.  This made organization extremely easy.  Betsy also made a list of fun car games to play during the trip to keep everyone busy.  

car cleaning hacks

8.  Making Sure Shoes Are Clean

It was important for Betsy and Rich to make sure that their shoes were clean before they got into the car.  They also made the kids take off their shoes before getting in if they were dirty.  They placed them on some plastic bags so that they wouldn’t dirty the rugs in the car and it worked well in keeping the car as clean as possible.  

9.  Cleaning Supplies

Betsy and Rich, created a small caddy of car cleaning supplies to keep handy for the trip.  They took paper towels, Windex, and a DIY car upholstery cleaner that Betsy made. Whenever they needed a quick clean up, they were ready.  Since this was a great way for them to clean up along the way, there was less mess. 

10.  Drink Holders

They let everyone have a drink in the car but only if it was kept in a holder.  This made a huge difference when they were trying to keep the car clean.  It was easier to have the drinks in a holder so that they didn’t spill as they were traveling.  Since this worked well for both the parents and the kids, there were no spills to clean up.  

A Successful Trip and Quick Clean Up 

For Betsy and Rich, cleaning on the trip was easy because of the car cleaning hacks that they used during the trip.  For the kids, they got to see the ocean, swim with dolphins and visit relatives and for mom and dad, they didn’t have the stress of keeping organized and getting upset with the kids for making a mess.  

When Betsy, Rich, and the kids got home from the trip everyone was exhausted.  Even though they were tired, they emptied the car of all luggage and found that the car was clean.  The car cleaning hacks that they put in place for the trip worked beautifully!  It made it so easy for them to get things back to the house without a big mess to clean up.  Since the trip they decided to keep the car cleaning rules in place.  If they see that something is out of place, they take care of the issue immediately.  They don’t wait until the mess is out of control. 

family road trip tips

We hope you enjoyed our tips to keep your car clean during your family road trip!  Before you set out on your next adventure, stop by Splash and Go Express Car Wash for the best clean in town!